Archive for July, 2011

July 8, 2011

Precious Waiting

by pastortimfowler

As I was sitting around the hospital yesterday while Jake was getting his new kidney, I had a lot of time to think and walk around and talk to people I have never met before. I really enjoy meeting new people, they are so much better that the old ones. (joke) I also learned a lot about the procedure for transplants and the time lines for when things happen. What I learned was that nothing happens fast until you go to your truck that is parked on the other side of the world, then things move quickly, until you get back to the room and they slow down again. Yep, we were told that we had an hour or so before they would come and get Jake, so I took that as I had plenty of time to go to my truck and get a few things for when the surgery began. As soon as I got there, about 15 minutes after I was told we had at least an hour, I was called to let me know that they were taking Jake and waiting on me to pray with the family. Good thing that I have superpowers and can navigate hospitals in record time.
Once they took him to the surgery floor, we were sitting around for about an hour or so and I was told that Jake would be another half hour waiting for the surgery to actually start. I had already been there for several hours, and was getting hungry and irritated with all the delays. I don’t like hospitals to begin with. They are always full of sick people. But having to wait and wait was like being at the DMV. I maintained my composure and did not let anyone know that I was irritated, after all, this was a moment that many have been praying about for a couple of years.
I went to get a late lunch and got the chicken fingers plate. I should have gotten the Philly cheese steak that everyone else was getting. Chickens do not have fingers. If they did you probably wouldn’t eat them. I have been told that most chickens have arsenic in them, and I think that these had a bit too much. But I was hungry and ate them anyway, but made sure that I complained about them to anyone who would listen.
After I ate the arsenic laced chicken fingers, I went back to the surgery waiting room. They Braves were playing and the game was on the flat screen, but it was connected directly to a dish and a storm started and caused the game to go off and all I could see was the “lost signal” message. I told another fellow who was in the room with me that it should be illegal to make someone wait as long as we had been waiting AND to allow the Braves game to be interrupted. So we waited and waited and around 7pm I got hungry again. The surgery was going to be a couple more hours, at least, so I decided to go get something to eat. I managed to stay away from the arsenic laced chicken fingers and opted for the fresh out of the oven, all meat pizza. It was good. But what happened on the way down made me decide that I would not complain again while I was waiting on Jake’s surgery to be completed.
As I got on the elevator that took forever to get to my floor, I was standing next to a man who wanted to share my ride down. I was telling him how long I had been there and how irritated I was at how they made you wait for everything, including the elevator. He just smiled and agreed. I asked him why he was in the children’s hospital and he told me that his son, who had overcome cancer, was there being treated for radiation sickness. He said that he had been there for 7 weeks now and although he was confident that his son’s cancer was gone, they weren’t sure if he was going to pull through the damage that the radiation did. I asked him if I could pray for his son, whose name is Tom. He said that he was only 14. So we prayed. I have prayed for him often since then. I keep thinking about how long this guy has been at the hospital and how I bet that he is thankful for every single delay and every single event as long as it means Tom is still alive.
I finished waiting on Jake to come out of surgery. I sat around and talked with a few more people and told them about Tom. It took another couple of hours before Jake was out and even another couple of hours before the family could get back to see him. Jake is doing fine and has still got a long ways to go in his recovery.
I did not complain anymore last night about how long I had been there, instead I tried to thank God for allowing me to wait around long enough to meet Tom’s dad and learn how precious waiting can be.

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July 7, 2011

Jake’s miracle

by pastortimfowler

If all goes well, a little boy will get a new kidney today. Modern science has made these things fairly common and successful and yet it is still nerve-racking for the family. Jake’s miracle is not the kidney transplant but the simple fact that he is even alive today.
I met Jake’s mom early in her pregnancy, as her and a friend visited our church. After a couple of visits, Jake’s mom began to tell me that her pregnancy was a very high risk and that the doctors wanted her to have an abortion. He was not developing a brain stem, kidneys, lungs, and had every indication that he would never survive the full term of pregnancy. So we prayed.


The next visit, she was told that things were improving, but even if she was able to deliver, Jake would be nothing more than a “vegetable” for the lack of a better term. Doctors doubted still that he would be born alive, so we continued to pray.
Although Jake has many medical problems, Jake is a smiling, happy, playful boy, going on 3 years old now. He defied everything the doctors said and that is the miracle. God is the giver of life. God determines our life on this earth, not man. Although mom could have taken the advice of doctors and had an abortion, God is still in control. But because she chose life over death and love over fear, and God has bless her with a wonderful little boy and today it is our prayer that he gets a new kidney.
This new kidney will not fix every problem, but it will help. Dialysis is hard on adults, but even more on little kids. Even if getting off dialysis is the only benefit from this it is great. But I would not be surprised if Jake defies the odds again and shows dramatic improvement in all areas. I believe that God has something very special planned for this little boy. I know that I have been touched by his life and look forward to what God is going to do.
I ask for your prayers today, as the surgery should take place around noon. Any surgery for Jake is high risk, but his Physician is a GREAT ONE, and the doctors are pretty good too.

July 6, 2011

Casey Anthony Trial

by pastortimfowler

I for one, am thankful for the end of the Casey Anthony trial. I am saddened by the fact that a small child was killed, no matter who did it or how it happened. But the reality of it all is that this happens all the time and we don’t get that upset. Many children are killed everyday out of convenience for the mother’s lifestyle and some even fight for that right to kill. Its called abortion. I think a child is a child no matter how young. One thing that I am certain of is that God will let no sin go unpunished and by the same means He can forgive any sin if asked. But this is not a blog on abortion.
You know it wont be long before something else overtakes the world’s news outlets. Since we have a 24 hour news media, they constantly bombard us with “news” that is not really news at all. It is speculation and opinion. America has become addicted to having people tell us what to think and how to think and who to believe or like. We have lost our ability to think for ourselves. I get so disgusted with how gullible people are and how they form opinions that effect their whole life solely based on what the hear and see on TV or the internet.
When I was in elementary school, the science books taught that a new ice age was coming. I think I missed it during my experimental years of drugs and alcohol. We were also told that if the Soviet Union ever bombed us with a nuclear weapon that we should duck and cover. No one in the media ever questioned either of these and as a child I kept thinking about how stupid these two things were. And ice age? It rarely ever snowed then and because I live in beautiful South Carolina, home of the Gamecocks!, (sorry for the shameless plug) it still doesn’t snow. I asked my teacher about it and she told me that it was a limited ice age and only the colder areas of earth would experience it. Duh.
I asked about the nuclear bomb thing and how radiation worked. The teacher told me that we should be more concerned with things falling on our heads than the radiation. I asked her if it was okay to microwave a cat and she said no it would kill it. I would have never really done that, but I did drop a marble on a cat’s head and it had little effect.
So now we know that we are killing the planet with CO2 emissions. We know that electric cars are the answer. I guess there is no CO2 emitted from the power plants that will have to work extra hard to produce more electricity as we all plug-in our cars. I really love the idea that our power grid can even handle the extra use. We already have brown outs and black outs in the summer due to increase usage and now we all need to plug-in cars? Here is a suggestion; why don’t we all use sails on our cars and skip the windmills and batteries?
We are told that one day the financial situation in Greece is so bad that the whole world’s economy will fail so the stock market dives 150 points. The next day, it isn’t that bad and it rises 200 points. We are told that if we would spend a few trillion dollars that the economy of the US won’t get worse, it does get worse, so we are told we need to spend another trillion or so. At the same time families in the US are told to tighten their belts and pinch pennies. We invest in Brazil to drill for oil and stop drilling in our country because it is a global disaster we need to avert. I forgot that Brazil is not part of our globe and I think it sucks having to pay $15 to fill a motorcycle.
We live in the greatest country on earth. We can solve any problem put before that we put our minds to. The problem is that most Americans have stopped thinking for themselves. Even more, we have stopped letting the Bible be our source of truth and let what we believe come from a bunch of media hype.

July 5, 2011

5 July, 2011 15:40

by pastortimfowler

After a long weekend I should be rested and ready to go, but I feel tired and ready to stay. No rest for the weary at my house on the 4th of July weekend. Every kid in the ‘hood had fireworks and from the time it was almost dark until the wee hours it sounded like a war zone. Add to that a dog that is petrified of the noise and another who thinks that she should go outside and bark at them and that equals little sleep.
For any holiday that is celebrated with fireworks, the people of my community start warming up a couple of days before and usually continue for a couple of day after. This has been the norm for as long as I have lived there and that has been 8 years now. You might think that this is just a very patriotic crowd, but it is not. They may be patriotic, I don’t really know, but that is not the reason they do this. I can’t for the life of me understand the obsession, but I wish that I could open a fireworks stand for those weeks because then I could probably afford to move.
When we moved here we did it because of our church. We want to live in the place that we serve in. We really want to know the people and help if we can and be part of their lives in some way. For years we helped with food, clothing, shelter, utilities, and education. We tried to learn where folks were hurting and how our church could help ease the pain. But something weird keeps happening and it is not just in our ‘hood, it is everywhere in America that there is a “low-income neighborhood”. I remind you that I am qualified to say these things that I am getting ready to say because I live there and am trying to be part of the solution.
How can someone be so poor that they can’t buy food without food stamps but can afford enough fireworks to last for days? You can’t pay your light bill or your rent, but you can keep me awake all night with the explosions you can afford. This makes no sense. It is not just fireworks, but almost every kid in the ‘hood has a cellphone and are using it all the time. We could not give away Wranglers and generic shirts because they weren’t FUBU. I went to buy me a FUBU outfit and couldn’t afford it, but the people I am trying to help can.
I had one family who wanted us to pay their rent, pull up in a fairly new F-150 pulling a very nice grill and smoker combo on wheels. I know that I could have sold that combo for about $1000 and that covers anyone’s rent in that ‘hood for sure. I don’t think these guys were originally from here because they didn’t speak English and when I ask if they were legally here they quickly drove away.
I love our country and the opportunities it offers. I love the generosity of the people in the USA and the way we go out of our way to help those who are in need. Yet I hear people all the time getting upset about poor people and illegal people misusing the system. Being poor is never going to be eliminated and because of that, there will always be ministry for those who want to help. The problem is trying to wade through the stupidity of those who ask for help while wearing designer cloths, talking on their cell phone and shooting hundreds of dollars of fireworks all night long, as they beg for help to pay their light bill and helping someone who is truly in need.
I pray for wisdom as I continue to live in the ‘hood. I pray that people will wise up and quit blowing money on fireworks and start paying their bills. I pray that I will always have a heart for those less fortunate than myself and that if I have to lose sleep it will be because of my burden to help not because of the noise of fireworks that they can’t afford.

July 1, 2011

God Bless America!

by pastortimfowler

This is a long weekend for most people in America as we celebrate our nation’s birth and independence. I love our country and its people and love the meaning of this holiday. I also worry each year when the people I know travel and head to lakes and beaches and parties. I worry because this holiday also has a record number of injuries and deaths due to drinking and fireworks and crowded road and waterways.
I rarely travel or vacation during the 4th for those and other reasons. I like open water and roads and as I get older I dislike fireworks more and more. I try to drive during non-rush hours and if I go on a lake I like to do it during weekdays and non-holidays. I like to watch professional fireworks displays but have never been too impressed with the ones you spend a hundred bucks on from a roadside stand. Mine usually end up being far less than that the box promises.
All that said, I still love the 4th of July. I am thankful for our forefathers who sacrificed so much for our freedom and our country. I love thinking about the brave men and women who serve so bravely in the US Armed Forces to keep us safe and often sacrifice all for our country and its freedom. I love watching children spending time with families and the carefree times of vacation. I love seeing our flag flying high and proud on porches and business fronts. It is a beautiful flag and represents our beautiful country.
I will be taking a long weekend off from my blog. I will not be heading to the beach or to the lake, but rather enjoying a rare day off with my beautiful wife and will probably just relax around the house. Our vacation happens in a couple of weeks as we will be celebrating our anniversary and venturing out on the Holy Kaw. I will be observing and take mental notes for things to blog about as I take a break over the next few days and will be back at it on Tuesday, July 5th with something fresh to challenge you with.
Meanwhile, I hope that you have a great holiday. Please be safe on the roads and waterways. Watch out for those who drink too much and don’t have the common sense enough to not drive or operate a watercraft. Be careful if you use fireworks, although I find many duds, the ones that do go off can hurt. Use plenty of sunscreen and drink plenty of non alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated. Have fun and let kids be kids and enjoy this wonderful time. Take a few minutes to reflect and tell others about the meaning of this holiday and thank God for a country that is free.
God bless you and God bless America!