Archive for April, 2011

April 30, 2011

Who gets kids?

by pastortimfowler

Again I have been asked to blog about something that is challenging, at the least. Today’s topic; How does God decide who gets children? Well, this should be easy…NOT!
You have to understand that this question comes from a woman that just had a baby today. I wonder what the real, deep, psychological meaning behind that one is? Anyway, I will give it a shot.
First let me begin with the fact that the Bible does not answer that question specifically. It does say that children are a blessing from God though. So the short answer is anyone He wants to bless. Right now I am sure there are many of you going, “you haven’t met my kids, have you?” I have met many kids and decided that I did not like them. They are like those gnats that swarm and get in your face and no matter how much you swat at them they don’t go away. I never even like my own children. They were given to us as a blessing and I am pretty sure that woman God gave me messed them up and turned them into monsters.
The Bible says that grand children are like a jewel in you crown. I think they are like pain in my…I mean, I agree.
Let me get back on track. When God created humans, Adam and Eve were told to have babies and populate the world. He told Abraham that he would have so many ancestors that you wouldn’t be able to count them. If that is so, there are a lot of people who God needs to allow to have babies. I know that there has to be some kind of reasoning behind it, but I really think that it boils down to keeping His promise to Abraham.
People will think that it is fair or unfair that certain people get kids and others don’t. Supposed “good” people who want a child and never get one and the “bad” ones get more than they ever need, it is hard to make sense. But God’s plan is that everyone He allows to be born get a chance to know Him and be used for God’s glory.
There are very few things in life that are harder to explain than this question. God is sovereign. He does not have to explain Himself to us. He has revealed himself in so many ways already. He has given us details to how we should live and how we should raise our children and over and over we ignore them. We turn beautiful blessings from God into spoiled brats. (Not your kids though) One day God will allow us to understand how He decides who gets kids. Until then we need to focus on how to get those kids to know Jesus.
Here is the plan. A child will be given to parents, and before the child is ever born God knows it (Jeremiah 1:4). When the child is born, it will be born naked (Job 1:21). Parents are to raise the child in a godly home (Proverb 22:6). Part of that training should include beating them (Proverbs 23:13,14). Another part of that training should be teaching them not to make fun of bald preachers (2 Kings 2:23,24). One day those kids should leave and start the cycle all over again (Genesis 2:4).
Children are on loan to us from God. We need to do all we can to return them in good shape. You just never know who gets kids.

April 28, 2011

Referrals are important

by pastortimfowler

Thursday mornings are an early start for me. I have to come to the church at 6:30am to open up for a business group of about 25 people who has been using our church to meet for years now. The main purpose of their meeting is to give referrals to help each other’s businesses. Most of them are in small companies or own their own business, but there are a few who work for large corporations.
They meet each Thursday morning for about an hour. Every morning they give a short introduction of who they are and what they do and what kind of referrals would help their business. I use to think that telling someone what kind of referral you would prefer was like saying you would only accept $20 bills and not anything other money. But what they are doing is telling those who they have teamed up with in this group what and who and how to best make their company a success. They don’t waste time with giving unproductive leads and they truly help each other become more successful.
Here is an incomplete list of the type businesses that are in this group. Banker, exterminator, plumber, roofer, cosmetic sales, lawyer, HVAC, janitorial. As you can see they are quite diverse. An it would be silly to give the roofer a referral who does not roof work or the lawyer a referral for someone who needs lipstick. But when the roofer is out and about doing what he does and he works for someone who needs a lawyer, he gives that name to the lawyer and now the lawyer is not working a cold call, but someone who knows a mutual friend.
This got me thinking about how inefficient the church is in what we are doing. Christians are told by Christ to go into the whole world and share the message of forgiveness and salvation. It is so much easier to do if we know someone and have something in common with that person. For some reason we tend to shy away from this task and I believe that there are a couple of reasons and this could help us all.
First of all, the business people in this group have a vested interest in what they are doing. Christians tend to think of their salvation as an insurance policy against immoral living. If we were to begin to understand that heaven is the beginning of the rest of our lives and that we will be in a position of responsibility in eternity, and that what we do now effects that position, then maybe we would take it more serious. In other words, our success doing what we are told on this side of eternity is directly proportionate to our responsibility on the other side of eternity. So we need to take serious our command to share the Gospel.
In my church we have a diverse group of people. I could probably name all the type people who are part of the business group I mentioned earlier. But we also have people who have overcome or are overcoming most any problem in life. Some have overcome drugs, alcohol, abuse, divorce, bullying, pride and much more. Who better to tell you about what Jesus can do for you than someone who has been there and done that? So why don’t we share “referrals” with each other when it comes to following the command to tell everyone about Christ?
If we were to take more time know each other and our backgrounds and how God has help others, then we would feel more comfortable having our church friend talk to our friends and families. If you have never struggled with drug addiction it is hard to speak in confidence about how God can help. So why not pass that referral to some who has that experience? We should spend some time each week at church getting to know the people we worship with; what they do, how they have overcome struggles with God’s help. Then we can have a ready list of whom to give good referrals to.
The bottom line is making the Kingdom of God grow through sharing what Christ did for us. If we share referrals of those who need help, and someone is better suited to do that, everyone benefits. We are doing what God wants us to do, someone who has overcome a struggle gets to directly help someone do the same, and ultimately God is glorified.
If you know that referrals are important to a business, why can that work in the church. Referrals are important!

April 27, 2011

Listen to the voices

by pastortimfowler

I watched the new show called The Voice last night. I thought it was a bit strange. It is another attempt to find the “next big thing” in the music industry. If you didn’t watch it or don’t know what it is, let me tell you briefly. Four current music stars are playing music scouts and they sit in four chairs that swivel and they have their backs turned to the stage. A contestant comes out to sing, they can’t see them and have to decide if they want to take them on their team to try to become “The Voice”. When they like the voice they hear, they hit a button and the chair turns around with a sign lit that says “I want you”. If more than one scout hits their button the contestant can choose which one will be their coach.
The good news is that the voices had already been screened and we did not have to endure weeks of screeching and horrible auditions like on another show. Most of the ones I saw had good voices.
What I found funny is how some of these folks looked and the looks on the faces of the scouts when they turned around and saw who had that voice. I think what they are trying to do is find people who a really ugly and make them a star. Sure they had some good-looking people on there, if not, that would be discrimination, but many were ugly.
I can say that because I know ugly. I am not ugly, but I have seen ugly all my life and can recognize it when I see it. There are a lot of people who can’t see ugly. They have been blinded by political correctness and offendophobia. They are the type of people who hear the story of the ugly duckling and try to say it is just different. Ugly is different, so in that aspect they are correct, but different does not mean not ugly. It is the UGLY ducking.
I don’t mind listening to ugly people sing. I grew up in the days of radio being the main source of music, and when you did get to see the artist, most people in the audience were stoned and did not care about looks. Beer goggles do work on musicians too. I am glad that I do not drink or do drugs anymore. I have not for over 20 years, so again I am qualified to recognize ugly. But today we have an image to put with almost every musician. Beauty and sex appeal are a big part of the music industry. It is pushed into every form of music, including what our kids see and hear, so parents be careful.
So there was a couple of contestants that had incredible voices and when the scouts turned around you could see the looks of, “dang” and “what tha?” on their faces. One girl who was picked sang a song by Janice Joplin. Janice was not known for her looks either, but that was back in the days that I spoke of earlier. The song was done with passion and the voice was great. But this woman was ugly. She looked like me if I were a woman; bald. If I were a woman I would be smoking hot and every other woman would want to be like me, but I am not and she was ugly.
Some of you need to calm down. I like ugly people and would never be cruel. It is not really cruel to say someone is ugly if they are. Trust me, ugly people know that they are ugly. I would love to have her in our band at church. Our church likes ugly people, just look around…(hahahahahahaha) I kill me, sometimes.
Years ago a fellow named Shel Silverstein wrote a song, made famous by Bobby Bare, titled “Yellow-Haired Woman” It was about how a woman with different hair colors will end up doing a man wrong. This is the last verse of that song:
But a bald-headed woman, we’ll love you each day.
You can beat her and kick her, but she’ll always stay.
‘Cause she knows no one’s coming to steal her away —
Hooray for a bald-headed woman!
* More lyrics:
* All about Shel Silverstein:
As you can see, ugly has been recognized for years. And this is not about women who have cancer or other sickness that causes hair loss. This about ugly on purpose. There were others who sang that were ugly too. Some had hair, some were old, some had no excuse. But they all had voices that were beautiful and that was what the show is about.
Please understand that this is a humorous blog. Humor only has enough truth in it to make it believable. In this case it is humor about ugly. But here is some good news. God loves ugly people too! And if you feel offended and think that I am cruel, God will love you and help you to get over it. He will teach you forgiveness and then you can apply what you have learned to me. Because the bottom line is to listen to the voices.

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April 26, 2011

The Death Penalty

by pastortimfowler

I am going to have to stop asking for inputs on topics for my blogs. Some of you are purposefully messing with me, I think. Why can’t you give suggestions like, what is the meaning of life, and where do babies come from? (If these two topics show up in the suggestions, I will not respond now)
So I was asked about my feelings on the death penalty. I feel like I am about to lose a few more readers, but I can live with the remaining two or three.

First let me say that the death penalty was not man’s idea, it was God’s. So, I am for the death penalty. What I am against is injustice or misuse of the system. Because man is now the administrator of the law, there are going to be mistakes and abuses. But that does not justify doing away with a system of justice that God put into place.
One of the purposes of the law is to show us our flaws as humans. God knew that we could never be a lawless people because it would allow us to become nothing more than animals. He also knew that we could never keep every law and that allows us to see that we are not perfect and the we need a justice system. When we break a law, the completion of that law comes when the justice is administered and the penalty is paid. In the worst of cases, that penalty was death. The purpose of these penalties was to discourage breaking the law and to restore to those who are victims a sense of justice being served.
Death was the penalty for the most heinous crimes. The ones that if you committed, you were a more dangerous to the community than the risk of keeping you alive was worth. When the death penalty was first given it was to be administered quickly and publicly. Quickly because you were a risk to society and you did not deserve to continue living because of the crime you committed and publicly to allow people to see that if you were considering committing this crime, you faced death.
The death was also usually a very painful and cruel death. Stoning, beheading, and hanging were the most common. There was not a concern for the feelings of the criminal who just murdered an innocent human. Humans are precious to God, and even though Jesus died to save all, He also abhors evil and murder is evil.
Today the death penalty is not much of a deterrent to murder. Few ever face it. In states where it is still allowed, it takes 20 plus years for it to ever be administered. The victim’s families often die before the convicted murderer does. The criminal lives a protected life while the victim’s life ended premature. Not to mention that there is an attempt to make the murderer’s death “humane” by using a drug to put them to sleep before they use the drug to stop there beating heart. Not very scary to someone who has the nerve to kill another human being. And I won’t even get into the costs of keeping a murderer alive for all those years.
I believe that God was right. There are some crimes that warrant death to the convicted. I think if we are going to give the death penalty it should be administered quickly after the legal system has had its proper time to work.
My suggestion would be to give the convicted murderer one year with a team of lawyers and all the resources needed to appeal, research, provide evidence that this was not the proper verdict. At the end of the year, a team of judges would review all the information for a week, if it was not enough to overturn the verdict, the convicted dies the next day.
Anyone who thinks that the death penalty is wrong, needs to consider that we all face the death penalty for our sins against God. Unless the Judge finds that our penalty has been paid in full on our judgment day, we will immediately receive our just reward.
Jesus got the death penalty and He was innocent. But he was our payment and our sacrifice for our sins, the only one that God will accept. God the Righteous Judge, has only one way that He will accept for us to avoid the death penalty. Jesus Christ, His forgiveness, His sacrifice, His grace, for our sin. We do not deserve this love, but He gives it. We deserve the death penalty.

April 25, 2011

Is the Easter Bunny a lie?

by pastortimfowler

Sorry for the down time, but nature called. No, not the bathroom, scuba diving. I took a 3 day trip to Florida for some fossil hunting with a few close friends and my son. I had a blast, got rested and now I am ready to get back to keeping the world informed.

While I was gone there were a few good blog ideas that were sent to me on Facebook. One was about the idea of the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Santa and if it was a lie to tell our kids about them.
I want people to pay attention in church and when they do pay attention I want them to be able to live a more Godly life. I try to teach that too often we try to make the Bible more difficult than it is. When God says to tell the truth, that is what He means. So where does that leave the Easter Bunny? Is the Easter Bunny a lie?
This could be fun for my vegan friends. To think that they read my blogs and I get to say stuff like, rabbits are for eating not bringing baskets of candy and eggs. ROFL, or for those who are not as abbreviation savvy as I am, that means “rolling on floor laughing”. Oh wait! That in not true. I am not literally rolling on the floor. I think I just lied. See how easy it is to confuse sarcasm, exaggeration, and even abbreviation, as lies? As you can see, this thing about lying can be a difficult one to be truly literal about. But I still love fried rabbit.
We have to be careful what we teach our kids and how far we go with things that are such big events in their lives. Christmas and Easter should be big events in a kid’s life but for different reasons than they have come to be. These are the two biggest Christian events that we can teach. The virgin birth of our Savior and the death and resurrection of our Savior. But ask most kids what they mean and who it is about and you get Santa and the Rabbit.
For those who don’t know, I will never condemn someone for participating in these two traditions. I never cared for the Rabbit thing because that to me is just a big slap in the face to Christians from the secular world. It is very difficult to get from a crucified Savior and His resurrection to a Rabbit bringing candy and eggs. I would choose to teach my kids about Jesus and give them candy to reinforce that truth than to support a real stretch of the imagination. Besides, rabbits do not care about people getting candy. They are better pan-fried with a little garlic or kept as pets that do nothing more than make a mess. FYI, I don’t like rabbits as pets.
Santa is a fantasy based on some truth. Saint Nicholas was a real man who did take gifts to children. He was a Christian and from what I can find, someone who believed in helping and giving to others.
Santa is easy to explain as a fun fantasy for kids and easy to bring in the real teaching of the holiday. We can tell our children about the real man who started the tradition and how it was his love of Jesus that compelled him to do what he did. We can explain that it is fun to imagine him flying around the world helping others and a sleigh and 8, (9) if you count Rudolf, reindeer. I think children can have just as much fun with the fantasy and not have to present it as fact. And it is easy to take what “Santa” does and teach our children to be givers.
In case you were wondering, I never eat reindeer.
What I am saying is that as parents we have a responsibility to allow kids to be kids. Indulging in fantasy and having creative imaginations are perfectly normal. When we present fiction as fact, we risk confusing them and yes, we lie to them. Often this presents a dilemma for parents who become Christians years after having children and have been teaching them about Santa and the Rabbit. But kids appreciate the truth and done with love, they can be told the truth. After all, most lies are done with the intent of deception for personal gain. Not that it is right, but Santa and the Rabbit are more childhood fantasy than lies for personal gain. Unlike trolls and monsters and fairies which we do tell our kids are not real…unless its the TOOTH FAIRY!
So what about the Tooth Fairy? Please, do I have to tell you what I think about that? We all know that she is not really a she, but rather one of Santa’s elves who was fired for stealing and went to work for the Easter Bunny, but quit because the money was fake too, and ended up going into business for his self as a cross-dresser who in the day time posts weird, “important” stuff on Facebook for everyone to re-post if they really care.
Let me know what you think. Is the Easter Bunny a lie?

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April 19, 2011

Treasure hunting

by pastortimfowler

Most of the day today I have been trying to get ready to go on a short vacation with a few friends. We are heading to Venice Beach, Fl. for a dive trip. It is called the shark tooth capital of the world and that is what we are going to look for. Not just regular teeth but rather prehistoric teeth from an extinct species of shark called the Megalodon. Some of the teeth we hope to find are as big as 7 inches long. They say this shark was a big as a Greyhound Bus.
Since I am leaving bright and early in the morning and it is a 10 hour drive, I am not sure if I will blog anymore the rest of the week. I am taking my laptop and hope to squeeze in one but not making any promises. It is supposed to be a vacation of sort but I will be spending some time preparing for Easter services. I rarely take time off before Easter because it is such an important time in the Christian faith, but my good friend an I have been wanting to make this dive for years and this is the first time that it worked out for both of us to go.
Vacation is a time to relax and appreciate God’s creation. I will be doing that. I find very little as relaxing as swimming under the ocean and treasure hunting. These teeth we hope to find are valuable. Some of the bigger ones in good shape can bring hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. To think that something died that long ago and it can still have that much of an effect on me now. Now that is real value.
You know, Jesus died a long time ago, and although I never expect to find His fossilized remains, He still brings value into my life. I find value in the fact that He created such a magnificent planet that I can have such fun and even find remains of creatures that He created that are no longer around. But better than that, I can find forgiveness for everything that I have ever messed up. I can find favor with a holy God that without this forgiveness I would never have. I find peace in troubled times and joy in living my life for Him. These are treasures that have no price tag. They can’t be bought. They are free to anyone who would ask for them.
Everyone has heard that Jesus died on a cross. It is not hard to believe, because everyone knows death is real. Jesus chose to die in my place and yours, because of our sin against God. But He didn’t leave it at that. Jesus did the unthinkable, the impossible, the unimaginable: He resurrected from death. He did this so that all who ask to be forgiven can find this treasure called eternal life. It is a gift. Not earned nor bought, but given upon asking.
There is only one catch. We must ask in belief that God does forgive and Jesus did die for our sin and that He does give life when we ask.
I have never been to Venice beach to look for these shark’s teeth. I have never personally seen someone who has any of these teeth. The reason I am going to look for them is because I believe they are there. The only reason you do anything that has a risk is because you believe the risk is worth it.
Years ago I went looking for forgiveness and found it in Jesus Christ. The risk was worth it. I found something as real as the teeth I hope to find. I found a God who loves me and forgives me and gave me a treasure worth hunting.
This Easter, why not try to find forgiveness, and why not try to find this loving God. He died for your sin too and better yet, He lives to give you a life that never ends.
It is time to go treasure hunting!

April 18, 2011

Re-post This

by pastortimfowler

If you are on Facebook you have seen something like this:
I have a personal reason for asking if everyone could please put this as their status for 1 hour. I know the ones that will. Think of the ones you know or love who has or had cancer. My wish is that a cure will be found soon as possible. Will you post it for 1 hour.
There are some that are about daughters, moms, other ailments, Christianity and who knows what else. I have actually had people get upset with me for not re-posting something like this and my response is always the same…leave me alone. Not really, but I think it.
Here is my question; What in the world did we do before Facebook to show that we cared about something? I know when I was a juvenile delinquent I use to re-post things that I saw on bathroom walls, but that was not really the same. I re-posted a fence one time because a car took out several of the original posts, but that is not the same.
I re-posted a poster one time because it fell, not because I really cared about the cause.
When I care about a cause I get involved. One of my favorite things to do is give blood. It is easy and relatively painless and only takes about thirty minutes. I have special blood too, O negative, anybody can take it. But according to some on Facebook I don’t really care unless I re-post something that tells everyone how special giving blood is and how I know someone who really has blood, but lost it and now needs it if I re-post.
As most of you know, I am a pastor. I read the Bible a lot. The other day I came across this verse: For God so loved the world, because it was personal to Him, and He would like us to post this for an hour, He knows the ones who will do it because they really care. Everyone else who doesn’t re-post must not really care so He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life…if they re-post this. WOW! I was freaked out!
I am not sure if God is unhappy with me or not if I refuse to re-post that I believe in Him. I do know that if all I do is post and re-post stuff on Facebook and I don’t help those in need and love those who need love, that He is not happy. But I am pretty sure that my standing with Him is not based on a Facebook post or re-post.
I know that I have probably lost half of my small number blog followers because they may have read this. In fact, the part at the beginning of this blog is copied from a FB friend’s post. Hey!!! I just re-posted!
I know that the heart of those who do this stuff is probably good. I also know that awareness is important to a cause. But I also know that just because I don’t re-post what you think is important or what describes your idea of how I love my family, fight against disease, or show my faith, does not mean that I don’t care.
I have a personal reason for asking if everyone could please put this as you status for ever. I know the ones who will. Re-post this if you really care about people who want you to re-post everything. I know that some won’t because I care more about this than they do, but if you really care that I don’t care, then re-post this.

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April 15, 2011

Sick Mind

by pastortimfowler

Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. We have all heard that. I am living it. I asked for blog ideas and, wow, the topics are great. Tough, but great. Today the topic has to do with a recent incident in which a mom took her own life and the lives of her children. A horrible thing to even think about.  What could have made this poor woman end it all like this?
Many people believe that suicide is an unforgivable sin resulting in hell for that person. I am talking about thinking that God will not forgive it. Two reasons why some think this. One, it is so selfish and we can’t find closure for our own feelings, and second, if the last act before death is a sin, then that person was not able to ask for forgiveness and therefore dies with unforgiven sin resulting in hell.
I personally do not believe that the Bible teaches that suicide is unforgivable. Let me deal with this from scripture, then I want to give a more personal and even medical reason for my thinking.
When Jesus died on the cross, he did not die for a specific sin of a lust, a lie, or a murder. He died to pay the death penalty for all of humanity’s sin. Jesus was our sacrifice and His death was accepted by God in place of our own if we ask. The moment we ask for forgiveness, we are made children of God, being born again. We are no longer under the penalty of the law as law breakers, but under the grace of a loving Father who has taking the responsibility to raise His spiritual children. If you have ever raised children, even really good ones, they still disobey us parents. We do not disown them, but lovingly correct them. And if one of them were to ever commit suicide, we would not stop loving them and immediately disown them either. We would mourn out of love, not disown out of anger. Romans 8:38,39 tells us that NOTHING including death, can separate us from God’s love:
38 I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love which Christ Jesus our Lord shows us. We can’t be separated by death or life, by angels or rulers, by anything in the present or anything in the future, by forces 39 or powers in the world above or in the world below, or by anything else in creation.
The Bible clearly says that God’s children are given eternal life, not life based on our ability to ask for forgiveness every time we sin. God wants us to recognize it when we sin and ask for forgiveness as we grow, but there are times when we don’t or can’t recognize that what we do is wrong. This brings me to a personal and even medical reason to why suicide does not condemn one to hell.
Many children are born with birth defects. Some with physical and others with mental, and they are welcomed and loved as they should be, despite their birth defects. Children with mental illness often can’t recognize right and wrong and therefore we do not punish them as such.
Sometimes things happen in life that cause our brains to stop functioning properly; injury, illness, drug abuse, or even mental abuse. This can cause a seemingly normal person to snap and do something wrong, even kill someone or their self. We have to make choice on how to deal with these people.
The brain is an organ like lungs, hearts, and kidneys. They operate on the basis of chemicals and blood and oxygen flow and when things are imbalanced due to injury or illness, they don’t function properly. Brains can get sick or injured too. And when they do, we see things that we think are in the control of someone, but they may not be capable of control at all.
I do not believe that anyone who has a “normal” brain will purposefully kill another or self. Normal people do not do this. Someone who is sick enough to kill others needs to be put somewhere to protect innocent lives. Those people are still someones children and even a murderer’s parents love their child. But someone who wants to take their own life often does it because signs were missed, and they have slipped past the normal ability of the brain to cope. Sadly we can’t protect them anymore.
But if they were children of God, He will welcome them under the cover of Christ’s death on the cross and not under the condemnation of their sin. God at that time promises that He has healed the sick mind.

April 14, 2011

Sin is sin

by pastortimfowler

I recently was sent a video of a guy saying that Christians need to get over our anti-gay agenda. He quoted that we ignore commands to not eat certain things and that Jesus said to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. So here we go, this is my blog on homosexuality or at least a response to what I consider an ignorant person when it comes to God and His word.

First of all, the Old Testament laws were given to the Jews. The food laws and ceremonial laws were for them only. The law was also given so that all humanity realizes that we are law breakers, sinners. Romans 3:20 says this… Not one person can have God’s approval by following Moses’ Teachings. Moses’ Teachings show what sin is.

The New Testament is a promise that Jesus fulfilled those laws and now we live under grace. Grace is not a free pass to sin. It is a provision given to God’s children who are born again by faith in Christ and his death to pay for our sin and His resurrection to defeat death. His Holy Spirit makes us God’s children when ask for forgiveness and accept our place as helpless sinners saved by God’s grace.
Fulfilling the law means completing all parts of the law. For instance, we know that speed limits are part of the law. Going faster than the posted limit breaks that law. The law also says that for breaking the law there is a penalty, in this case usually a fine. The law in not complete until the penalty has been paid. I can pay it or someone who has compassion for me can pay it but either way it must be paid. That is what Jesus did for all law breakers. He paid the fine, death.

There are still the same consequences for sin today as there were in the beginning with Adam and Eve. The laws have not changed. Sin still has a fine to be paid. The fine is death. But God’s gift is forgiveness and life and He will allow Jesus to pay that fine with His death.

What sin causes this death? One would definitely be homosexuality. Others would be lying, stealing, murder, idolatry, and many others that we could name. Homosexuality is no worse sin that any other, yet it still a sin.

When we are born again God forgives the death we owe and begins to change us as we grow in our Christianity. Some people are able to overcome some sins quicker that other sins. I personally overcame drunkenness but it took me about 8 years. None of us are ever able to never sin again, but we are expected to try.

Sexual sins also include adultery, incest and bestiality. Jesus said that if even looked on a woman in lust we have sinned. He has perfection as His standard of judgment, we can only judge that same way. However we lack perfection in ourselves and must refer back to God and His word to seek that guidance.

It is sad that there are some Christians that condemn those who struggle to overcome a certain sin. Jesus told a woman who was caught in the act of adultery that He did not condemn her, but did tell her to stop doing what she was accused of. He also said that anyone who was without sin could cast the first stone and no one was able to do so.

Condemnation is not what Jesus asks of His people. He did say to love even those who were our enemy. He loves sinners, no matter the sin. But He does promise that He will forgive all sin when asked or He will judge all sin if not asked. Romans 6:23 says, “The payment for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

It is a dangerous thing to flaunt any sin in the face of God though. No matter how we try to twist things, the Bible clearly states what some specific sins are, with no ifs, and, or buts. God is gracious, but expects us to begin to agree with Him, not the world, about our sin and begin to seek His help to overcome it. No matter the sin. Any sex outside of marriage is sinful, so yes homosexuality is a sin. Not for me to judge and yes I am to love the sinner, no matter the sin.So if we take all sexuality out of the picture, we still have a lot of sin to deal with, thanks be to Jesus for paying the price for ALL.

To throw a blanket over all Christians as homophobes or needing to “get over” something like that is just as wrong as throwing a blanket over all homosexuals as perverts and the worst of all sinners. So know that all have sinner and come short of God’s glory, I think if we look closely we will find forgiveness as a common ground.

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April 13, 2011

You can trust him

by pastortimfowler

Today I started reading the Old Testament book of Joshua. One of the saddest events of the Bible happens just before this in Exodus as Moses dies without going into the Promised Land. It was really incredible to read that Moses was well over 100 years old when he died but the Bible says that he never lost strength nor did his eyesight ever go bad. I would be happy with either one of those even right now.
For 40 years, Moses lead Israel through the wilderness. He was the greatest prophet ever and talked to God in person. Don’t even ask me to explain his favor with God, but that statement makes me want to study how he lived his life to so win that favor. Moses was allowed to see incredible miracles of God, and incredible rebellion from his people. He interceded for them over and over and at one point told God that if He would not forgive the people the he (Moses) would prefer to be stricken from God memory. That is one incredible leader.
So Moses dies and Joshua is appointed the leader. I feel for Joshua. What huge shoes to fill. On top of everything else, the people he was to lead were not the same that followed Moses for 40 years, they were the children and they had heard all the stories of the great things Moses had done. Sure they knew that God was the power behind it all, but still, they knew Moses was the instrument and not Joshua. But now they were going to have to trust this new leader and they were about to go into a land that they had not seen and about to go to war to take the land.
People always say that trust is earned and this was not different. I have read all this before and I know the great leader that Joshua becomes. But putting yourself in the position of the people at that time, it had to be scary. Joshua had not earned their trust. But…
God had earned their trust, over and over again. He rescued them from captivity on Egypt. He parted the sea and destroyed the pursuing army. He had given them endless food and endless water without them planting and digging. He had defeated enemies that they encountered during the journey. He showed Himself in pillar of fire and a pillar of smoke. At the end of the journey we are told that their clothes and shoes never wore out. They knew that they could trust God.
So why the problem trusting the leader that appoints? Sure humans can and do make mistakes but when the will of God is at stake and the people of God seek Gods will, God will ensure that the right leader is in place. Matthew 6:33 says: But let your first care be for his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these other things will be given to you in addition. God wants our trust. Trust Him and you have nothing else to worry about.
You can trust Him on that.