Posts tagged ‘priorities’

February 21, 2012

Priority

by pastortimfowler

After reading the Old testament book of Daniel I got to thinking about priorities. Does the church today have their priorities in order? Do I? I know that a lot of people think of the book of Daniel and get caught up in the prophesies, and they are interesting, no doubt. But from the beginning of the book you see 4 guys who know God and have their priorities in order.
The last time I was interviewed for a job as pastor, I was asked what my priorities were. I was quick to say, God, family, church. That sounds like a good answer and I try to keep that in mind, but lets face it, God is not always on the top of that list. Perhaps after reading this I will no longer be welcome to stay as pastor of my current church. Everyone knows that pastors are super Christians and never get their priorities out of whack, but I like to be a rebel. Okay, I don’t like it when this is what makes me a rebel, but it is true. So, I know if a pastor can get priorities messed up, the regular folk certainly can.
Let me go back to Daniel and those 4 and what these guys faced. Basically Israel was once again being rebellious against God and God allowed them to be over taken by hostile people. But Daniel and his 3 friends had found favor with the king because, like me, they were smart and good-looking. (Stop laughing) They were told to do things that were against God’s word and refused. Rather than get their priorities out of whack, they decided to trust God and God honored them. Not only did he protect them from death, but God continued to give them favor with a hostile people.
Today we, the church, have decided to make it known that we don’t care about God as much as we care about self. We would rather have a program that keeps us happy over a mission trip that make us sleep without AC or heat. We would rather the band play the songs we know than to worship God as if He was who we know. We would rather the preacher keep it short so that we don’t miss the football game instead of missing the football game because we asked the preacher if he would spend a couple of extra hours teaching us the Bible. We would rather argue the politics of welfare than to take a cooler of sandwich meat and drinks into the homeless hangouts of our town and feed and eat with them as we share the gospel.
In a class last night we discussed how if we spent 15 minutes a day reading the Bible that we could read it in a year. My wife can read a novel a day on vacation. Most people I know, including myself, can do it in a few days. We remember every name of every character in a series like Twilight or Harry Potter, but can’t name the disciples. We know every player on our favorite team and know their schedule and even have time for fantasy football, but don’t know how to lead someone to Jesus. We can learn every change on Facebook even though we complain about it and add friends about every day, but we don’t bring anyone to our church all year.
Today I was stood up twice by people who wanted to meet with me to get help with their spiritual life. I saw both of them on Facebook as I was waiting on them to show up. A couple that wanted help with their marriage was supposed to meet with me today, but they had something come up. Sure, these can probably be explained, but it does make you wonder about our priorities. The Bible says to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all else will be added to it. Somehow we think that we need to get everything else in order and then find time for God.
All I know is that God has been dogging me out about keeping my priorities in order. I hope that other Christians will understand that unless we put God first, those who don’t believe will have no need to put God anywhere in their priority list. We have been given a command to follow Jesus. To follow anyone, they must be put in front of us or we are not following at all.

July 14, 2011

Procrastination: No, Its Been Raining!

by pastortimfowler

Yesterday it rained very hard here. So hard in fact that water found ways into my house that normally don’t allow water in. In my living room, there was enough water that came in that I used every towel we had, and then remembered that I had a wet/dry vac. Funny how you forget what you have when there is an urgent situation happening, but when you are walking through Home Depot you think of every impossible situation in order to justify buying that new toy.
I have been talking for weeks about doing a few things around the house that I knew could cause some problems, but it is hard to do yard work when it seems to rain every afternoon. Throw in a sore back and a busy schedule and it adds up to Murphy’s Law at my house. And we have known from the day we bought this house that there were a few things that needed some attention.
We bought this house shortly after we moved up here 9 years ago. Our intention was to do a few things to it and then rent it out and buy a newer home. This one is very old and shows its age. So we never had a great sense of urgency to do a lot, and when you plan to do things bit by bit, something always seems to distract you until it rains really hard and you remember why you said the first thing you need to do is cut that tree and replace those windows.
Now that nine years have passed and fortunately this was one of the few disasters that we have had due to the age of the house, I am making a new list of priorities. We have grown to like the house, despite its age and flaws. It is small and easy to maintain, as long as we do the maintenance. But I will be getting rid of that tree and a few bushes. Thanks to the weather, I may get the roof replaced too. Those windows have got to be changed and now I think I will have some new flooring put in. While I am at it I need to paint, and put on some new siding, replace those doors on the closet, fixed that toilet that you have to jiggle, and my sidewalk needs a section replaced.
We have been using Dave Ramsey’s financial teaching on getting out of debt and managing our money. He says to save for things like this. So I am pretty sure I can afford to cut those bushes down and trim back that tree. I can afford a tube of caulk for that old window, and we never really use that closet door anyway. I do have a pretty good habit of jiggling the toilet and have never fell over that crack in the sidewalk. If the insurance covers the roof and I wait on the siding, and that floor isn’t that bad, I can get everything done in a few weeks, if it will just stop raining every afternoon.

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