Posts tagged ‘blogs’

December 20, 2012

Until next year

by pastortimfowler

GoodbyeOldHelloNew

2012 has been a busy, hectic, but very productive year. It is hard to believe that we only have a couple more weeks before it is over. I have taken a break from blogging due to a fire in our church and the fact that I have been trying to rethink how I want to focus my blogs. This will be my last blog until next year, so let me leave you with a few thoughts.
Our church had a great year. We saw over 100 people come to know Jesus as Savior and baptized nearly 60 people. We grew to the point of need to have a second worship time and that will be 8:30am beginning Jan. 6, 2013.
Our country re-elected President Obama. Say what you want, the people have spoken and its time to move forward.
Supposedly the world is ending tomorrow. The Mayan calendar says so. If that happens, this will be my last blog. I am planning ahead, just in case.
The Gamecocks beat Clemson for the fourth year in a row and Navy beat Army for the eleventh year in a row. It makes me happy.
My youngest grandkid turned one. My oldest turned 11. If I got these wrong, I know I will be corrected. The point is, I try to notice these things.
My wife and I are hosting an international student from Korea. His real name can’t be pronounced properly, so everybody calls him Freddy. I taught him how to shoot guns and he is teaching me how to praise God for successfully raising teenagers.
Our nation saw tragedy when senseless violence took the lives of innocent people and some think we need new laws. I just think we need to pray harder and enforce the laws we have. New laws have never stopped stupidity or insanity.
I celebrated my tenth year as pastor of my church. I am not sure how long this is going to take. These are some really weird people, but I like them.
This is only a partial list of things that I remember from 2012 and my very brief comment on them. For the most part 2012 was a great year. I believe in hope and I believe 2013 will be even better. Until them, have a merry Christmas and I will be back next year. Actually I will be here, but not blogging. Either way, unless the world ends tomorrow, look for new blogs to start in 2013.

December 5, 2012

Surviving The Storm

by pastortimfowler

5879848337_329554c941_b

http://www.flickr.com/photos/13013135@N00/5879848337/

As you might have noticed, I have not been putting out blogs at the pace I normally do. There has been a lot going on that has demanded my attention and so I had to eliminate some things from my daily routine temporarily. As if the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons are not busy and hectic enough, I have had to deal with several other issues that added to “the storm”.
I like to call things that keep me extra busy storms because it sounds much more dramatic than just saying that I have been too busy to do some stuff. A storm makes you think that winds are raging and thunder and lightning are threatening and the danger element is really high. So if I had to be really honest about it, I guess instead of a storm, I have been in a rain event.
Rain events are nothing to be laughed at. During a good rain, things can get really wet and even cold and that does not feel good. Rain can make you want to sleep more and forget about going outside to do other stuff. Rain may sound innocent, but let me tell you, until you have seen the rain that I have seen, you don’t have a clue. And then if it rains on a Monday, well, rainy days and Mondays always get me down.
Probably the worst thing about the rain in life is when you get those breaks where the sun comes out, so you go outside and don’t wear a raincoat or take an umbrella and you are scared that it may rain again and get your hair wet. That can cause a lot of stress. I mean, what if it really does start raining again? Then what?
I was out in the middle of a big field one time and did not have a raincoat or an umbrella and it started raining. At first it was a gentle mist, but then it became a constant mist, and, add in the wind, or breeze, and it was like being in the middle of a field getting wet and there was nothing you could do about it. Although it only lasted a few minutes, I got wet. And, although I shave my head and so my hair was not affected, I felt the stress that others who might have hair would have felt if they were out in that field too. And for those who would scoff at this, later that day, it rained really hard and I was a bit shaken at the thought of how, if that would have happened while I was out there, that I could have gotten really wet.
So, although what I have been through is not really a storm of life, but rather a rain event, I wanted you to know that I am fine. I have relied on my years of experience to get me through it. I also try to remember that even though the rain of life is tough, there are people who are going through the storms of life, and in those storms there is most often rain. So if you just think about the rain and block out the thunder and lightning and raging wind and all the really bad stuff that goes along with a storm, and just think about the rain, then you will understand what I am going through and you won’t be so critical about me not blogging for a while.
Yes, God can calm the storm. Sometimes He chooses to clam the child in the storm. But when it is just raining, God is still there.

November 19, 2012

God In The Irritations Of My Life

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31735795@N08/4142227460/

Sorry for the lack of blogs lately. I have been dealing with the aftermath of the church fire, extra people in my house, and a barrage of other stuff that has had me a bit distracted. Through it all, God has been in touch with me, mainly through Twitter and Facebook, but sometimes right in my face. I thought that I could share a few things that He showed me.
He is in the stuff that I find irritating. I know that this may sound as if I am saying that God is irritating, and I am not. I do get rather flustered with Him from time to time because He refuses to let me be in charge or He lets me and everything gets all messed up. But, God is in the stuff that has been irritating me in some really cool ways.
I love my grandkids and I love the kids in my church. But kids irritate me. Unlike my wife who is a kid addict, I can only tolerate kids in small amounts and in short bursts. So with the fire at our church rendering our children’s area unusable, the kids have been coming into the adult worship area while I am preaching. The result; several of them have accepted Jesus as their Savior and I got to baptize 5 of them in the last two weeks. Many of them have come up to me and told me with all the excitement of a little child about how cool it was and thanked me for it. WOW! God is all in that irritation.
Lately I have been trying to do more with my grandkids, especially my oldest grandson who is 7. He lives with his dad and mom and a bunch of girls, and girls are trouble, we all know that. His dad works rotating shifts and does not get to take part in things like scouts and a lot of weekend stuff, so I am trying to fill in. In the past few months I have been to three camping events with him and slept in a tent and gone without a shower and fed him more junk food than he should have ever been allowed to eat.
I also took him to a Gamecock football game this weekend. There is about an hour drive to the stadium from my house and to help keep him entertained, I took the wife’s tablet so he could play games. I find it hard to have meaningful conversation with a 7-year-old for more than a couple of minutes, much less for an hour. Guess what? The tablet was not charged. So for an hour, we talked. Did you know that a 7-year-old can talk continuously for 15 minutes without stopping or even breathing? And I learned that I could throw a Chees-it and hit him in the mouth while I was driving but can’t catch one when he throws it. I also learned that if you slowed down beside the semi truck while he pumped his fist, that after several miles, even the toughest truck driver will eventually blow his horn.
I love to watch the Gamecocks play. Having a 7-year-old with you limits that ability. But when it is really cold and the wind is blowing hard and you told the kid to leave his jacket in the truck because you were not taking yours, kids can be an excellent heat source. So he sat in my lap most of the game and that was a great way to talk about the game, and eat pizza at the same time. And because it was military appreciation day, I got to tell him how God allowed us to be free to do what we are doing because of their service. Then to hear him say, ” God wanted us to be here today” was the icing on the cake.
I came home that night to find my 1-year-old grandson there. He will be staying with us for a few days. I don’t get to see him that often because his parents live a couple of hours away. But when I walked in, he ran to me. I tried to run away, but God wanted him to hug me and kiss me. I get really irritated when slobbery little kids try to kiss me, especially when I am not ready and they kiss me in the mouth. (gag). I am not sure why I felt the overwhelming presence of God at that time, but I did.
And finally, the fire at the church. What a pain. But I have met some really awesome people who are working to clean up the mess. I have talked to them about our church, invited them to attend, and had several tell me that they will come. My church folks have been amazingly understanding about the inconvenience and have stepped up in more ways than I can count to make this really irritating circumstance more than bearable.
God has really been in the middle of this most irritating time. He has been the peace when things are hectic. He has been the wisdom when things are crazy. He has been the love when I felt like I did not want to love or be loved. But I don’t know why I am surprised. He promised that He would never leave me or forsake me. He never lies and never disappoints. He gives me so many reasons to be thankful and just in time for Thanksgiving. What an awesome God I serve!

August 24, 2012

Back To School

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22809952@N03/6009153377/

 

As I was taking our international student to school today I noticed that all the other kids were back to school this week. He goes to a private school that started over a week before public school did. The traffic was heavier and slower thanks to the buses on the road. I was starting to think about letting Freddy ride a bicycle so that I could avoid that morning madness. The way my wife is feeding him, he could use the exercise.
Going back to school always made me sick. I got sick more during the school year than any other time. I never got the kind of sick that made me run a fever, usually it was a stomach ache. Most of the time it was only an 8 hour bug that really seemed to start easing off within an hour of the bus going by my house. My guess is that I was allergic to something at school; probably having to do with those old books.
My mom never posted pictures on Facebook of me going back to school. She didn’t cry and get all emotional either. Well, I did see her laughing hysterically a few times as I looked out the bus window. I don’t remember any parents, “back in the day” posting kids going to school on Facebook. Parents just sent their kids off on the bus or that dreaded 3 mile, uphill walk in knee-deep snow, and then they would all meet to celebrate with moonshine, fresh from the still.
When my kids were young and going to school, we never had to worry about sending them back to school. They never got out of school through the summer. But on the rare occasion that one of them passed a grade and got a break from school, we did not post their pictures on Facebook. To be honest, we did not take many pictures of our kids at all. We figured that because they had to live with us anyway, why create any evidence that could be held against us when they moved out.
Facebook is a great thing. I use it to post my blogs, stalk, I mean, keep up with a few close friends, and find material for my blogs, like thousands of pictures of kids going back to school. I do not believe that Facebook was created for back to school pictures posted by parents. It was created by a college student. College students don’t post anything that parents are proud of, why should parents do otherwise? Facebook should be limited to pictures of those report cards, or, pictures of that letter from the truant officer and/or notice of suspensions that will drive many of you to drinking again. But then again, my parents didn’t post those things about me on Facebook either.
So, rejoice that the little ones are going back to school. Go ahead and post those cute little pictures, we know what is coming later. Those little angels who look so cute now, will be those fallen angels with colored hair, stuff sticking through their nose, and pre-drawn tattoos as they wait to turn 18 and really embarrass you.
I want to leave you with a Bible verse to go with all of this. Philippians 4:4 Always be joyful in the Lord! I’ll say it again: Be joyful!

August 17, 2012

Trial by Children

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcbeth/2568041356/

As I told you a few weeks ago, God was messing with me, I mean, blessing me with extra children around the house. My wife started baby sitting and we took an international student into our home for the school year. I believe the Bible; all of it. I don’t understand all of it and do have some questions for God when I get there. This verse is one I think I will question: Psalm 127:3 - Children are an inheritance from the LORD. They are a reward from him. A reward? Really?
So with the rewards piling up, I was trying to think about all the things that I must have done right to deserve these rewards. I know that I am an excellent husband and treat my wife better than she deserves. I get up early and fix her coffee. I do dishes and cook and sometimes the other way around. I keep the yard looking as well as could be expected and I am just an all around good guy. But to reward me with children for that? Couldn’t God have just given me a couple of free rounds of golf?
I am a great dad to my own children. A raised them for 18 years and through them out of the nest so that they would learn to fly. Sure they bumped their butts a little, but on the third or fourth bounce, they got it. All of them are out of jail and free of any communicable diseases, as far as I know, and they either have a husband who is like me or are a husband like me. That surely does not deserve more children back in my house does it? How about a fishing trip to the Amazon River in South America? That would be sufficient.
I am an awesome pastor too, just ask the people that I pay to say that who use to go to my church. I tell them that they are going to Hell and how to avoid it. I keep all of my sermons short and stay on point so that no one is forced to wonder what I am talking about. I rarely turn down a opportunity to have people buy my lunch if they want to talk to me and, I let people bring me peach milkshakes from Chic- Fil-A anytime they wish. Does this deserve the reward of children? Hardly. Perhaps an all expenses paid Bible conference in the Bahamas might be more appropriate.
And we can’t forget that I provide almost an endless supply of fantastic and informing blogs that keep you on the edge and have you begging for more. These blogs challenge your minds and imaginations and keep you laughing and therefore bring great joy to many lives daily. But reward me with children? No, I am not worthy. It would be more appropriate to send money to my church and designate it for the pastor’s vacation fund.
Yes, I feel like this may be a trial that I am going through. Perhaps a trial to keep me humble and learn patience. Perhaps a trial to learn to accept blessings of great magnitude, even though I may not deserve them, so I should just accept them. If this is so, I thank God for the rewards, but ask God to scale it back a bit and stick with the simple and less rewarding things like golf and fishing trips.

June 15, 2012

last one before Cuba

by pastortimfowler

One week from today is when I head to Cuba for my mission trip. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be going back and how appreciative I am to all who helped to make it possible. Over the past few months my church and my friends have helped me to raise the money needed to go and with my personal obligations added to it, it has provided all of the expenses of the trip. THANKS!!!
We leave next Friday and I am taking the week off before I go to tie up loose ends and spend a little time with my wife. Because of this I will probably not do any more blogs until I return. Once back, I hope to share some amazing stuff about my trip. There is so much that I hope that will happen that I may need the whole week when I return to tell everything. But until then, this is it.
So here are some things that you can do while I am not blogging.
1. Go back and read my blogs that have made you mad in the past. This will give you a chance to see if you were just having a bad day. It will also let you reconsider why you may have disagreed with me. I am sure that I was right and you were either having a bad day or need to change your mind.
2. Go back and post something nice in response to my blogs that you originally ripped me apart on. I don’t expect you to apologize, but you can at least say nice things, especially since I am going out of country. Those of you who write mean responses to my blogs probably do it out of frustration because you know that I am right and this will give you a chance to say that.
3. Go back and read my blogs that you liked and write another raving review. Maybe you liked my blog so much that it left you speechless the first time and now you have had time to think of something wonderful to say about my blog and/or me.
4. Send my blogs out to everyone that you think will enjoy reading them. I like having people follow my blogs. For a long time I blogged to myself and although I always thought they were brilliant, I finally got tired of writing the blog and the response.
5. Send my blogs out to everyone that you think will despise reading them. I enjoy those of you who get irritated almost as much as I enjoy the positive ones. By sending them stuff that irritates them, I am sure they will look for me when I get back with a sense of excitement as they can’t wait to tell me welcome home.
Finally, while I am gone, you can pray for my safe travels and that God is able to use me to help the folks of Cuba. No matter how much I know I irritate some of you, I still appreciate your reading my blogs. I love the positive feedback and the negative and I don’t take anything too seriously. But I do know the power of prayer and no matter who you are, I will accept your prayers and appreciate them. I look forward to my trip and even more to getting back to the greatest people in the greatest country in the world.
Thanks for all of your support, and God bless you all.

December 31, 2011

No More This Year

by pastortimfowler

I have decided that this will be the last blog that I do for the rest of the year. I figure that I will start back sometime next year. Please be patient and don’t panic. For my last blog of 2011, I thought it would be good to say thanks to everyone who has read any of my blogs and share a few last thoughts for the year.
I do read every bit of feedback that I get. I do not post every reply because some are not appropriate to be posted on a church website, where all of my blogs are posted. Some are simply personal and other are redundant. But I do read and appreciate your feedback.
This year was the first time that I have ever attempted to blog on a regular basis. It has been quite challenging to not get repetitive and to continually come up with something worth reading. Some of you are waiting patiently for that to happen still. I have found some of the best ideas for blogs come from you guys. Many this year have come from one particular friend who loves to challenge me and I think that she likes to give topics that she knows that I will get blasted for. I do enjoy the challenge and I hope that next year more people will offer suggestions for topics. As you can tell, I don’t shy away from many, even though I probably should.
It has been my goal to be honest, biblical, and funny. To challenge you to think outside of what is comfortable and to learn from the things that others respond back with. I try hard to state plainly when it is an opinion and I try even harder to not offend, although that is virtually impossible. I do wish that some people would not get so uptight about things that are clearly one person’s opinion or even an attempt at humor. Humor is one of my favorite tools, no matter how lame the attempt.
My life has been a roller coaster of experience from one extreme to the other. Through it all, God has been very merciful and has not yet killed me for being stupid from time to time. Instead, He has allowed me to learn from my mistakes, given me an abundance of chances to change for the better, I hope. I believe that it is God that motivates me to share my life and thoughts through these blogs and I will do my best to always give Him the WOOHOO’s that He deserves.
Thanks again for reading. 2011 was pretty good, 2012 is going to be great!

December 15, 2011

Elves on Shelves

by pastortimfowler

It is the latest twist on Christmas chaos, the Elf on the Shelf. My wife even sent me a link to a “Christian version” of it. I am assuming that because she titled the email “blog”, that she wanted me to blog about it, and, since I take other crazy ideas from other crazy people, I guess I should give this a try. But let me say this: If anyone gets upset with me over this one, you are a sick person and you need another hobby besides taking my blogs too seriously.
Why do we need an elf on the shelf? Santa knows if you’ve been bad or good and he doesn’t need no stinkin’ elf to tattle on kids. Its bad enough that you have to worry about that little snitch of a brother or sister, and now an elf? As a former kid, I look at it as an invitation to use firecrackers, like the ones I used on Barbie. And you know what? Barbie never snitched on me or GI Joe again.
My fear with this is 2 fold. First, the possibility that this will catch on and start running year round and taking more money out of the pockets of dads who really just want to keep kids and wives from whining when they could be spending it on a new fishing rod. Second is the fact that too many Christians get their panties in a wad about silly things, including elves on shelves, and feel like they have to do a “Christian” version of everything. They take a plastic Mary and Joseph and they “travel” all around the house. So is it better to lie about elves telling on you or Mary and Joseph traveling around your house?
Look: We have enough Christmas junk as it is. Between trees and lights and wreaths and stockings, and mistletoe, and Rudolf and baby Jesus with all the animals, why do we need anything else? I don’t have room in my attic for that much stuff and by the time I get it all out and put it up around the house, it is time to take it down and try to get it back into the attic. I quit drinking years ago and this, I fear, could cause others to start.
I don’t like elves on shelves and I don’t like the traveling plastic parents of Jesus. It is just one more thing to distract from the true meaning of Christmas and fill our kid’s heads with confusing stories of what the Grinch really stole. However, I do invite the Grinch to steal all the elves and traveling plastic parents of Jesus if they were to ever find their way to my house.
Merry Christmas.

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