Archive for ‘Love’

August 29, 2012

Hateful Speech

by pastortimfowler

Speech is Silver

I saw this on Facebook today: Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate. When I read it I thought about our nasty political climate and presidential campaign and it made me think about these verses of the Bible:
1 Timothy 2:1-2 (GW)
1 First of all, I encourage you to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of thanks for all people,
2 for rulers, and for everyone who has authority over us. Pray for these people so that we can have a quiet and peaceful life always lived in a godly and reverent way
.
Christians should really think before they post things on Facebook or anywhere else that are full of hateful words. I think that it is very easy for us to lose our credibility as the people of love that we are supposed to be when all people see or hear from us is hateful slams of those we disagree with. Some of you may quickly say that in America, we have freedom of speech, and that is true, but as Christians, we have freedom from sin and using hate filled speech is sinful.
Years ago, I got out of the Navy and because I needed a job to provide income immediately, I went to work as a car salesman. One of the things I had to do is learn about the competition’s cars. All car makers make a model to compete with the others, like compact, mid-sized, full-sized, and pick-ups. What you learn is that there are subtle differences between each of them and that a good salesman could tell you what they are. My boss told me to learn those differences, not to talk down about the other make of cars, but to point out the ways your make of car was better. For instance I might say to a customer, Yes sir, the Chevy does have good towing capability, but the Ford we sell will tow a thousand pounds more than that. Given the fact that they are both fine vehicles, wouldn’t you get more for your money with our better towing capability?
But for some reason, people like to talk about the bad stuff or the different stuff as if it were bad. I was told years ago that different is not always wrong, it is just different. That is the way our country was built, to respect and give freedom to be different. But in the case where different is in deed wrong, slamming that wrong publicly rarely results in change. That is where Christians need to remember the words written in the verses above. Whatever leader is in place, it is because God has allowed that leader to be there. We are to follow the laws of the land and to respect those who are in authority over us and most of all we are to pray for them. Romans 13:4 The government is God’s servant working for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid. The government has the right to carry out the death sentence. It is God’s servant, an avenger to execute God’s anger on anyone who does what is wrong.

So I challenge you to promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate. Love covers a multitude of sin.

Advertisements
August 28, 2012

Just A Footnote

by pastortimfowler

I can’t remember feeling as crappy, emotionally, as I did yesterday and even some today, since Abby died. I keep thinking, but she was just a dog. But, I loved her and wanted the best for her and spent 12 years of my life taking care of her. Before I forget, thanks to all those who said kind words, I at least know I am not crazy (no wise cracks needed).
I told my neighbor about Abby and he said that he knew how I must feel, because He had said goodbye to several dogs in his 80 years. That really made me think.
Dogs lives are much shorter than ours. It is not uncommon to own several dogs in our lifetime and each one of them we can love and get very attached too. Because I still have another dog, I don’t think I will get another one for a while. But one day, I think I would like too. So why do we put ourselves through this if we know the hurt that comes from losing something we love and know that chances are we will feel that hurt again?
As I was driving to the church this morning I was thinking about this and God gave me a wonderful thought. If I can love a dog as much as I did, how much more do you think I (God) love you? I was a bit overwhelming. But think of the similarities. God knows that we are going to die before He does; He is eternal. God knows that we are totally dependent on Him and His provision. God knows that we are going to get into the trash and occasionally make other messes. But He continually lets others be born and born again and loves us despite us being “just humans”.
He loves us so much that He accepts us and makes a way for us to know Him and His love and expects very little from us. I believe that He knows that pain of death, after all, Jesus died a real physical death for us. And, let’s not forget that Jesus wept at the death of His friend Lazarus. So I am thinking that it is okay feel so sucky about Abby dying. But I get a lifetime of memories and 12 years of experience of loving something who only loved me because I first loved her.
Love is a wonderful thing to experience, especially when it is unconditional. God’s love is unconditional and He knows our pain. But better yet, He knows that death is not the end. As for dogs, I don’t what happens after they die. Something tells me I don’t have to worry, God has that in control too. So I will lean toward thinking Abby is looking out the window of heaven waiting for me to come home, just as she did everyday while she was here.
I am very grateful for God’s love and that He let me in on this little secret; If you give love away, you will never be sorry that you didn’t.

August 27, 2012

She Was A Mutt

by pastortimfowler

 

 

People always ask you what breed your dog is and for many, the only answer is mutt. That is the mixed breed that usually gets rescued from a shelter or given to you because someone got them for free and couldn’t keep them. Abby was a mutt, given to me by my daughter when she was first living on her own and obviously did not realize that raising animals cost money. Abby was a mix breed of beagle, basenji, and human. I threw in the human part because I believe she really thought she was a human.
I got her when she was big enough to fit in my hand. At that time I was in between churches, a rough time for a pastor, and she was a convenient thing to occupy my mind and my time. During that year, we did everything together. I taught her how to do tricks, she went fishing with me, and she even road the motorcycle with me. I had never had an inside dog, and to be honest, never intended to have one, but, she worked her way in.
I have a habit of giving people and I guess pets too, nicknames. She had two. G-dog, that stands for girl dog. She would respond to that and as the years went by, she even knew that I was talking to her when I just called her G. Her other nickname was Babygirl. That was what I called her when it was just me and her and we were chilling together, either kicked back in the recliner together or laid out on the couch. If I called her that, she expected some lovin’. I heard that you really only give nicknames to people and things that you are really fond of. I guess that’s true.
Abby was 12 years old. She got sick Friday night, nothing to be alarmed about, just some pukin’. For a mutt, she was very expensive. She had a sensitive stomach, she had incontinence and had been on meds for that forever. I think I spent more on her than anyone could spend on the most elaborate pure breed. But this time, I guess it was worse than an upset stomach like it had been so often before. By Sunday morning she had not eaten in two days. She loved eating, so I knew that to be a problem, but she was still walking around and looked okay. I was going to take her to the vet first thing Monday morning, and even cancelled going fishing with a friend because of it. Sunday night she was sleeping in my recliner, then got up and went to lay under the AC vent. About 3am she had her first seizure. It was bad and I pick her up to comfort her, and knew that she would not be here much longer. After several more seizures and an hour later, she died in my arms.
Someone once told me if it hurts really bad, it must be love. It was just a dog though. But God gives us opportunities to experience love in some crazy ways. Some might question why God would let us love something so much then take it from us. I look at it differently. He could let us never love at all. Everything on this earth is His and He loves us enough to let us experience loving His creation.
Job 12:10 –The life of every living creature and the spirit in every human body are in his hands. God does not have to let us love things that He owns. The years of pleasure and joy and yes, love I experience with G-dog was worth the hurt I feel right now.
I don’t know if dogs go to heaven. I told people that she would because I helped her accept Jesus. But I do know that every creature on this earth is precious to God. Matthew 10:29 –Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s permission. So God knew when Abby was taking her last breath. It was His plan. God knows our pain and knows our sorrow when people and things close to us die. Death does have a sting, because it is the enemy. It takes the things we love. But what if we never knew that love?
But death can’t take the memories and the joy. It can’t take away the love. Love lasts forever. Time will ease the pain, but the pain is a reflection of the love, now with no recipient.
I am really gonna miss my dog, even if she was a mutt. Thanks be to God for letting me take care of her for 12 years. It was worth every minute, even the last few painful ones.

August 21, 2012

Intoxicating Love

by pastortimfowler

Romantic Heart from Love Seeds

It has only been a half day, but it has me remembering the good ol’ days. Other than the international student that is staying with us, we had no kids at our house all morning and until later this afternoon when he gets out of school. I am not sure if he reads my blog, so I need to say that if you are reading this Freddy, don’t take this wrong. I love having you at my house. But I had gotten use to being there with just the two of us throughout the week and since the wife started babysitting in our home, we have not had the amount of time that I like and was use to getting.
Some of you are thinking, after 32 years, you still want all that time with her? Sure I do. My wife is awesome. In those 32 years she has become my favorite wife and I don’t think that will change just because there are kids around, again. We actually like each other and enjoy each other’s company, despite what many of our friends may think.
Today we sat around talked, cooked, cleaned, and just enjoyed some time alone. You would think by the way I am sounding that it has been months or even years since we have been alone, and it hasn’t. I am just realizing that I may have been taking things for granted. I told you a couple of blogs ago that I thought God was dealing with me in some areas. His word tells us that children are a direct blessing from Him and I do believe it. But His word also tells us that marriage an earthly picture of how much Christ loves the church and that our marriages should reflect that as a witness to others. I wonder if I am being reminded of that in some way because I have been slack. I think that I am starting understand some of what God may be showing me through these blessings called kids.
My wife is an incredible mom. She is, and I have told you this before, a baby addict. She loves children and not just babies. It gives her great joy to love them, no matter who they belong to. I forgot how happy that it made me to see her that happy. Sure, it cramps my style a little, but I have always wanted her to be happy, and this really does make her happy. Her tolerance for children and mine are miles apart. She knows it and most people know it, but that doesn’t mean that I hate kids. I just like them better when they are not around me. However, I have been reminiscing a bit about when ours were younger and reminded of what a great time that was. I use to have a good time with them and better yet, my wife was in “the zone” when they lived at home.
So I think maybe God is letting me know that I should never get too comfortable with the way things are. This world changes daily and God does not like for His people to settle into a comfort zone that allows us to forget who is in charge. I am reminded that babies are easily amused and that teens are so much fun to mess with. They only stay little for a really short time when you get to look backwards at life and I have been very blessed to have an amazing life to look backwards on. I am reminded that this woman God gave me is not just another person who I get to hang out with, but she truly is part of me. I use to tell our kids, “when your mother is unhappy, everyone is unhappy”. That has a bit of truth to it, but what is more true is that when she is unhappy, part of me is unhappy, and that needs to change.
So if this is what God is doing, I guess I need to make sure I don’t miss out on every opportunity to take advantage of these times that I get her all to myself. That is when I am happiest. But this short break today was made even better because I was hanging out with the girl of my dreams who is being smiled on by God who is letting her love on some kids thanks to her passion to help others.
We didn’t talk about the hustle and bustle of life today. We just talked about things that were relaxing and funny and full of love. I only have another couple of hours today that we will be alone, and as you can see, there are other things that we needed to do. She is working on some stuff for the church and another part-time job she has, and I had to do a blog and other really important stuff, but I am hoping that I can sneak in another few minutes of time with her just to have her all to myself until our new normal sets back in this afternoon.
Proverbs 5:18-19
18 Let your own fountain be blessed, and enjoy the girl you married when you were young,
19 a loving doe and a graceful deer. Always let her breasts satisfy you. Always be intoxicated with her love.

Yep, her love is intoxicating.

August 14, 2012

Winning Gold

by pastortimfowler

Love isn't Love Until You Give it Away

The first lady had some guilt to lay on Olympic gold medalist, Gabby Douglas for eating at McD’s after winning gold in England. Gabby is the picture of health and while Ms. Obama is no cow, she certainly doesn’t look like she has avoided Big Macs all her life either. But I am not gonna talk about that. I want to talk about the gold.
This year’s Olympic gold medal is composed of 92.5 percent silver, just 1.34 percent gold, and the remainder 6.16 percent is made up of copper and is worth about $650.00. I was disappointed when I learned this. I thought it was pure gold. Sure, if it were it would be worth a lot more and there would be a greater risk of theft, but wow, only 1.34% gold? Currently gold is going for about $1600.00 per ounce, so weighing about 400 grams or, 14 ounces, that would be a lot of money, about $22,000.00 or so if it were solid gold.
I would think that an Olympic medal of any sort would be worth more than anyone could pay me if I had won it. It would be like winning the Superbowl and getting one of those rings. I don’t know if you have ever seen one, but wow, they are a lot of bling! But did you know that many people who have one these things have sold them? I know because I watch Pawn Stars and they have stuff like that come in all the time.
I like money. I would like to have more of it and will gladly take any extra that you may not want. You can contact me via my church website, http://www.thebodylive.com if you would like to send me money. But I have grown to know that money, as nice to have as it is, does not make you truly happy. Family, friends, and faith work best for that. Faith in Jesus Christ as Savior is a great source of happiness and more specifically, joy. Jesus said that we should not spend all of our time on earth storing up treasure here, but that we should store up things in heaven that really make a difference for eternity.
Jesus was and is not anti money. He did say that people who love money had a problem. They tend to rely more on their riches than on Jesus. Jesus knew that money was not important in heaven but was very useful on earth when we keep things in the proper perspective. But once we leave this world, money and gold and rings and stuff like that stay here and are absolutely worthless to those who die.
There is a joke I heard long ago about gold and its value in heaven. A rich man died and asked if he could take a bag of his gold to heaven. When he got permission to take it and was walking around the streets of heaven, he noticed that all the angels were laughing at him. When he asked his friend who had been there a while, why the angels were laughing at him, his friend told him that they thought it was funny that he was carrying a bag of pavement around like it was something valuable.
What is valuable in heaven? YOU are! Your soul and the souls of every human being are so valuable to God that He allowed Jesus to die for us on a cross so that we may live with Him in heaven. When we forget that things of this world are only temporary and focus on riches here, it is then possible that we miss out on what God has in store for us. Our eternal life is that important to God. He loves us. He made a way for all who believe and ask for forgiveness to receive eternal life and a place in heaven.
I don’t know if the streets in heaven are really made of gold. I think it is far more valuable than we can imagine and it will not be our focus when we get there. I know that here on earth how we treat others with what we have is far more valuable than the stuff we have. If we put stuff above the lives of others, we miss out on true happiness and become self-centered and ultimately self-condemned. Love is something to give away, not to waste on one’s self. Marriages don’t work unless you love your spouse at least as much as you love yourself. Giving love to your child is far more important than teaching a child to love himself. God loves us so much that He gave so that we may have eternal life. God’s love is given to us so that we can give it away to others.
As for Gabby Douglas, she knows that value of a gold medal. She also knows that there is something far more valuable, and that is knowing Jesus and God’s love. And something in me says that after training for the Olympics for as long as she did, that the Big Mac she ate after it was over was pretty valuable too. Winning gold can only sustain you for little while, after that, you need something more.

May 18, 2012

That Loving Feeling

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aunto/3281711078/

Falling in love is a weird term. It isn’t biblical nor is it something that really happens. Growing in love would be a better term. Yet Hollywood and TV land are constantly making shows that tell the story of two people who meet and know from the start that they are in love. (Yawn). I have experienced lust at first sight, and that happened more than once, but never love at first sight. There are many who will probably argue with me on this one, but far too often we confuse love and lust. And, most people have no idea of what love really is. Dictionary.com gives this definition for love. A noun; a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. I don’t care for the definition as a stand alone meaning, but even this can’t happen at first meeting. The Bible gives this meaning for love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant.
5 It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs.
6 It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth.
7 Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.
8 Love never comes to an end…
Certainly, this doesn’t happen at first sight.
This brings up the other side of the argument, can you fall out of love? I say no. There are a couple of reasons for my answer. First, the biblical definition of love says that love never ends. Now this is based on pure love, God’s type of love. Not a lustful, self-centered love, but one that is sacrificial and serving of others. The Bible says that God is love. Because of that, we have the ability to love like Him. This is the perfect love that never ends. God never stops loving. Some may say this isn’t true because God punishes sin, but like a father punishes a son that he loves, God does so too. God’s love is extended to every human on earth that ever has, is, or will live. This is done through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, as payment for our sins. Sadly, many are blinded by misinterpretations of God’s word and ignorance of the total concept of the Bible, and never see this love. But for any who will seek Him, love can be found.
This type love is extended through married couples and families. This is another reason that I say you don’t fall out of love. A mother loves a child. If that child grows to be a mass murderer, the mother still loves the child. Sure she can be disappointed and ashamed, but she does not stop loving the child. This love is deeply engrained in who a mother is. Her love is not conditional, it is a part of her very being.
My parents were married for 21 years when they got a divorce. My dad was an alcoholic and became abusive. Finally, my mother couldn’t stand it any longer and filed for divorce. They did the typical divorce couple fights and said mean, hateful things about each other. Many years later, when my mother died of cancer, my dad cried like a baby at her funeral. He told me that he never stopped loving her, but that he had allowed his love for her to become inactive due to drinking.
My mother told me several times before she died that she still loved my dad. She said the love that used to show in their relationship stopped being nurtured and so it stagnated. She said that after years of wanting to feel the love flow and not being able to caused her to lose hope, but not love.
We must be very careful to not let love become defined as warm fuzzy feelings. We must constantly work to show love so that is doesn’t become stagnant. Stagnant waters are where disease and filth tend to gather. Love is far too beautiful for that to happen. Love must be given away as freely as we want to receive it. It can never become a one way street or we will risk becoming stagnant.
There is a great old song that is sung in many a karaoke parties called, You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling. You can lose the feeling, but love never ends.
Don’t let the ones you love, lose that loving feeling.

April 2, 2012

My Greatest Blog

by pastortimfowler

I had the honor of doing a wedding this weekend for a young couple. Weddings always make me reminisce about that special day for me long ago. It is hard to believe that this year I will celebrate my 32nd wedding anniversary. My wife is a very lucky woman. I am a very special man, and she knows it.
I was just reading  1 Corinthians chapter 13, which I read at every wedding. It describes real love, the love of God and gives a definition of love that does not mention warm fuzzy feelings. This is what it says:
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
1 I may speak in the languages of humans and of angels. But if I don’t have love, I am a loud gong or a clashing cymbal.
2 I may have the gift to speak what God has revealed, and I may understand all mysteries and have all knowledge. I may even have enough faith to move mountains. But if I don’t have love, I am nothing.
3 I may even give away all that I have and give up my body to be burned. But if I don’t have love, none of these things will help me.
4 Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant.
5 It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs.
6 It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth.
7 Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.
8 Love never comes to an end. There is the gift of speaking what God has revealed, but it will no longer be used. There is the gift of speaking in other languages, but it will stop by itself. There is the gift of knowledge, but it will no longer be used.
9 Our knowledge is incomplete and our ability to speak what God has revealed is incomplete.
10 But when what is complete comes, then what is incomplete will no longer be used.
11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways.
12 Now we see a blurred image in a mirror. Then we will see very clearly. Now my knowledge is incomplete. Then I will have complete knowledge as God has complete knowledge of me.
13 So these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the best one of these is lov
e.
I want to love my wife like this.
I may have just finished my greatest blog ever.

January 10, 2012

Beautiful Women

by pastortimfowler

Every year, several magazines name the world’s top ten most beautiful women and they always get it wrong because my wife is not on the list. Because of this, I refuse to take anything they say seriously when it comes to beauty. It is obvious that they have no clue of what true beauty is, nor do they really care. Their idea of beauty is what they can manufacture through the sales of the products advertised in their publications. Besides the make-up and surgical enhancements, a computer makes the women of these lists look like they do and it is something that God has never created and intended a woman to look like.
Now let me admit that I love it when the most beautiful woman in the world gets all dressed up and puts on some make-up and fixes her hair and then we go out in public and people stare at me wondering how did I get so lucky. But I love it just as much when I wake up next to this same woman and she has no make-up on and her hair is a bit wild-looking. She is just as beautiful then.
Our church is full of beautiful women too. It is difficult to be a pastor and admit that in a blog that many of our church members say that they read, including the most beautiful woman in the world. But the truth is what it is. I guess it sure beats looking out at a bunch of ugly women every Sunday. But what I was getting at is that these women are beautiful just as they are.
Several of them are on this health kick and have started a Zumba class. I am not sure what that is. All I know is that when they start, they shut and lock the doors and threaten people who dare to come in while the class in going on. From that, I assume it is an anger management class. Nothing like a bunch of beautiful, angry women, locking themselves behind a closed-door, huh?
They also have been gambling. That’s right, in the church. They collect money in a pot to see who will lose the most weight. Silly women, who said that you needed to lose weight anyway? I bet the husbands would rather take you out on a hot date for ice cream with that money than have you come home sweaty, tired, and mad that you didn’t win.
I guess as long as they are doing these things for health reasons and not beauty reasons I am okay with it. I do know that exercise, if it doesn’t cause injury or heart attacks, could be good for you. But, I was watching the football game last night and saw these amazing athletes involved in a game that required them to exercise regularly and several of them got hurt. Meanwhile there was about 90,000 people sitting in seats watching and half of them were fat and out of shape and yet none of them got injured. So perhaps this exercise thing is not what it’s cracked up to be.
Let me stop with the amazingly witty and ingenious humor and get serious for a minute. God made you to be beautiful in His eyes. If you don’t feel that you are beautiful, it is not His fault, it could be that you have been fooled by some people who don’t love you. God loves you. God made the first woman, Eve, before there were even any stores that sold make-up and before there was even a door to hide behind to do Zumba. When He created her, Adam looked at her and said, WO! MAN!, Thus she was called woman, because she was beautiful, without make-up, surgery, or a magazine to tell her or her husband what she should look like. Sure, if you have read the Bible, you know that Adam got to see her naked first, and I am sure that helped with his perception of beauty, but still, she didn’t have to work at it, God made her that way.
So to the beautiful women of my church, who appropriately call themselves “The Body Babes”, zoom on in your Zumba class. Eat as little as you think will help to drop a pound or two. Get healthy and feel good. But at the end of it all, as I sit back and eat my chocolate chip ice cream and cheese curls and I watch the game and those commercials come on trying to convince me that you are not perfectly beautiful, I will turn away from the TV, dip my cheese curl in my ice cream, raise it in a toast, and look at the most beautiful woman in the world.

November 7, 2011

Hip-Hop Joy

by pastortimfowler

Our church had a youth ministry event last night and the main part of it was a hip-hop concert. I do not care for hip-hop and don’t think that I will any time soon. I kind of feel like my dad when he use to complain about my rock and roll music. But what I do like is the message and the heart of those who were performing. These young men were reaching out to the youth in a way that I could not and would not. My calling is not a hip-hop ministry, (thank you Jesus) and is not a ministry to youth (as a group). Mine is to pastor a church that is full of a very diverse group of people.
Ministry is not my way or your way, it is God’s way of using me and you to reach those who don’t know Him. If everyone had a hip-hop ministry, people like me would likely die and go to hell. As much as I want to be cool and hip, I fall just a hop short of hip. But God did not leave ministry to be only one way and that means that everyone has a ministry if they would only seek it.
I am good friends with a young man who has been doing hip-hop for years. He has built a ministry that reaches thousands and there is no telling how many young people have come to know Jesus because of what he does. In fact, he is the one who set us up to have the artists that performed last night. I was having lunch with him one day when I told him that I just didn’t understand that style of music and had a hard time appreciating it. I told him that I knew God was using him and that it was a ministry, but I had never been able to appreciate rap and hip-hop.
He told me that he understood and prayed for me because I was getting old and out dated. (Joke) Not really, but he did take time to explain the appeal that it had for him. He said it allowed him to continually flow with a thought to a beat and not be stuck with the traditional style of verse, chorus, verse, chorus that most music has. When he explained it to me that way, it made perfect sense  why he chose that style. It did not make me like hip-hop, nor did it make me want to change my ministry, but it did allow me to better understand how effective this can be in reaching people with the message of the gospel.
I have another friend whose ministry is to feed the poor. All he does is collect food and distribute it to those on the street. Another friend has a southern gospel group who sings the oldest style of music they can find. Still another friend of mine spends much of his time ministering to hard-core bikers. I know people who consider their ministry to be praying for people all the time and those who just sit with old people as they are dying. None of these are what I would choose to do on a regular basis nor has God called me to do, but then again they all say that they would never want to pastor a church like I do. And you know what? That’s the way it should be.
What is important is that if you are a Christian, you find something to do that reaches others with the love of Christ. Although more traditional forms of ministry like teaching and preaching are fine, most people miss the boat because they only focus on such things. But God gives great joy to those who serve Him and I feel that if you aren’t experiencing joy in a ministry, you are probably not doing the ministry that God wants you to do.
I have heard it said many times from many people who if you do what you love as a job, that you will never work the rest of your life. The idea is that work is no fun but doing what you love is not work. I see too many Christians that serve in churches and are miserable and complaining that no one else will do it. Those are people who are not doing the ministry that God wants them to do. Sure we all have to do some things in life and ministry that aren’t fun, after all Jesus didn’t have fun dying on the cross. But Jesus also never complained, nor did He let anyone stop Him from doing what He was called to do. Jesus also said that He wanted us to have His joy and that comes from doing His work the way that He would have you to do it.
Search out what God would have you do, then find a place to do it and watch people come to know Jesus as you come to know great joy!

October 28, 2011

That Woman God Gave Me

by pastortimfowler

Okay, its time for me to do some flirting, or at least attempt to score a few brownie points, even though I don’t need them because she is already my favorite wife. Over the last couple of weeks I have seen a couple of moving stories about couples. One, long dead, was said to be 1500 years old and were buried holding hands, and the other was a couple who died holding hands after 72 years of marriage. WOW!
I have now been married longer than any of my children have been alive. As a matter of fact, I have been married longer than a lot of people in my congregation at my church. It will be 32 years this coming July and what is really weird is that I am still very young. I got married when I was a wee child of 18. If you are good at math, you can see that I am barely over 40 years old.
In my first church where I was pastor, there were lots of old people. At my current church there are not that many old people, but that’s another story. At that other church there were 4 couples who had been married for over 60 years. That was one of the highlights of that pastorate. I was always amazed at them and how much they still seemed to love each other. When I spent time with them, I always asked them to give me advice on how to keep my marriage together for that long, and remain as happy as they seemed. What they told me was not complicated and they all gave me the same four suggestions. Keep God in you marriage. Have fun and laugh at and with each other. Flirt so much that she/he never doubts that you find them attractive. Fight fair and make up quickly. After hearing these things, I immediately knew that I had a great chance of having a long marriage. Now all I have to do is not die soon.
I wish that I could say that I married my high school sweetheart and that we dated for years and were in church forever, but that is not true. I met her at a party, and we knew each other only 6 months before we got married. From the minute I saw her, I knew that I wanted to date her, of course I was only 17 and she was drop dead gorgeous and every other guy on the planet would want to date her too, but I wanted to date her right then. Thankfully, she was open to the idea of dating me and after a few months, I figured that I better lock this thing down before she realized what she was doing. So we got married and here it is almost 32 years later and she still has no idea what she has gotten herself into.
We have a great marriage. We love and serve God together. If I had to pastor a church without her, I probably wouldn’t. She is so gifted and humble and is a walking example of God’s grace. We have fun and laugh a lot. As different as we are, we purposefully do things together just for fun. She says that I am a comedian, but no one makes me laugh more than her. We flirt, I more than her. All she has to do is walk in the room and I think that she is flirting. I still by her flowers and candy for no specific reason, and she lets me stare at her. We fight. I would like to say we fight fair, but I am not sure if that would be true, but we do make up quickly. I hate it when she ignores me and she hates it when I act real stupid. So we still work on fighting fair, and for the most part, we do okay.
I love being married to her. I can’t imagine not having her around. I hope that we live to see our 80th wedding anniversary but if not, I hope that we have one of those stories that make people go awwww, when we kick the bucket. But mostly, I want to live a life in front of people that makes them want to be married. Marriage takes a bad rap these days and too many people are trying to find true love like they are test driving cars. True love doesn’t come until you have been married a while. The longer you are married, if you follow the advice from my friends, the greater your love will grow. And don’t think that all the fun ends with marriage and age. With greater love comes great joy and greater fun. My married life is better than ever, and it will probably only get better over the next 20 years or so. I am wildly, madly, passionately in love with my wife. Staying married to her is all the blessing I need. I am very grateful for that woman God gave me.