Archive for ‘My Wife’

October 12, 2012

Date Night

by pastortimfowler

Being married for 32 years and pastor of a growing and busy church and playing host to an international teenager and having grandkids all would seem to be a dream come true for most people. For the most part it is for me too. But it cramps my style a bit when it comes to date night with my favorite wife. In case you don’t know, she is an incredibly gorgeous woman and dating her has been one of my favorite activities from the first day that we met. We try to date as often as possible because it is fun and keeps the romance alive. She loves taking me out in public and showing off her “trophy husband” and then telling all of her girlfriends how lucky she is. I love taking her out in public and watching the eyes turn to have a look at her and knowing that I am going to cut the night really short so that I can get her home where only I can look at her.
I want to encourage married couples to date. Not to schedule a time away from kids to go eat, but a time to get dressed up, open doors, turn heads, flirt, and get a good nights sleep…Right. We need to have fun as married people. Life gets really busy, really fast, and really often and this can cause the romantic fires to dwindle down to nothing but a pile of ashes if we are not careful. It doesn’t have to totally depend on date nights, but they sure do stir the embers. Getting dressed up as if you wanted to impress the other person and then walking around in public and holding hand and sneaking a kiss or an accidental touch here or there makes you remember that you use to do this a lot and you enjoyed it.
I am very fortunate that my wife and I know how to enjoy ourselves without date nights. Like many of you, a busy lifestyle makes date nights few and sometimes far in between. But we still sit around and flirt across the living room and hold hands around the house and she still tries to cop an accident touch of my butt while I get a Diet Mtn. Dew from the fridge. We flirt on Facebook and send texts that say silly things like “oh baby you sure look good in those cut off gym pants” and “what the heck is that in your hair?” We know that being married is much more that flirting and romance, but one thing we are really good at is flirting and romance. Yes, she is a lucky woman and I am a great husband.
Last night we got away for a date night and it was just as much fun as the first date we ever had. The only difference was that I knew I had enough money to put gas in the car and I knew that when we got home, I didn’t have to meet her dad. Other than that, we looked good, we had fun, flirted, and neither of us can wait until the next time we go out for date night.
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.
I would want to disobey God’s word now, would I? And you shouldn’t either. Date again and again and again.

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September 17, 2012

10 Years

by pastortimfowler

This weekend my wife and I celebrated our 10th anniversary of being pastor at our church. It is hard to believe that they have put up with us for that long, but I do a great job of keeping the wife in check. The church even went as far as to throw us a surprise party this Saturday. We were blown away.
11 years ago I would have never believed that I would be in Rock Hill SC. I had no intentions of moving and if I did, it would not have been to here. But circumstances and God had other things in mind. Thanks to a friend of a friend who had my resume, I was called by a church to do an interview for their vacant pastor’s position. I never turn down an interview and in the church world I know how to stop a church that I don’t want to go to from considering any further correspondence. In a word, change. Start off by telling them that nothing is off the table when it comes to change. Most churches don’t like that and more importantly, they don’t think that they need it. So I let them hear all about my ideas to change everything I could about the church that they loved and knew so well. Whoda thunk it? That is what they wanted to hear.
So, and remember that this is the condensed and much abbreviated version of what happened, I was hired as pastor, we moved to Rock Hill and the change started. This 50-year-old church began a transition from one that had grown inward to about 30 people to what is now a church of 180 and growing still. It was a traditional church of suits and ties and hymns and committees and now there is a rocking praise band and blue jeans and t-shirts. We have sold that old, traditional building and bought an office complex. We went from having few kids to having more kids than our church can hold in one service, so we are starting our second worship time in a few months. We went from not having any baptisms in 5 years to having 40 already this year. We went from blue haired old ladies to blue haired kids and their moms with piercings and tattoos. We went from a church that was dying to a church that is full of life.
I would like to be able to say that I am responsible for this. I do get to say that God used me in doing this, but only God can do something this awesome. So glory to God! He is the one who made this all possible. But, I want to stop and say thanks to a few others who had an amazing part in this all.
First, my wife. Without her, I would not even want to attempt what happened. She was behind me, in front of me, and beside me the whole way. She is the details to my vision and the warmth to my fire. Her love for the church and the people of the church and for those who have not yet met Jesus is incredible.
To the five people who were in the group that met with me the first time and did not run away. They had the courage to listen not only to me, but to their hearts and to God. The had the guts to bring me to the church that was digging its own grave and helped to breathe life back into it. They are still around and I hope that they are proud of what they did. I know that God is pleased.
To the two guys who have been with me 8 of the 10 years serving as associate pastors. There has never been a paycheck for either of them. They have served though, as if they were getting rich. They have supported my crazy ideas and given my a few to support in return. They have stuck it out when it looked like it was falling apart and held up my arms when I was getting weary.
To the people who have heard God’s call to become His children and then trusted us to train them up. A church is only as good as its people and that makes our church phenomenal! So many people have come to know Jesus and grown to become servants and worked to build the church. They have remembered where they came from and loved on everyone who walked through the doors. They were there to celebrate our tenth anniversary and it was awesome!
So thanks to all who had a part. In ten years the church turned around from one of traditions and rules to one of celebrations and grace. We have gone from rarely seeing a soul saved to one that rarely meets on Sunday without some getting saved. From a church that didn’t look a lot like Jesus, to one that must look a lot like Jesus to the hundreds who have come to know Him over the last ten years.
I can’t wait to see what the next ten years holds. Something tells me it will be even better than these have been and that, is a hard act to follow. My name is Tim and I am the pastor of a church called The Body, A Church for Anybody.

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.

July 23, 2012

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

by pastortimfowler

Gone Fishing

Do you remember that annual elementary school paper that you had to write as soon as you got back to school each year? What I did on my summer vacation. I hated it. My summers were usually filled with top-secret stuff that my friends and I did that we could never tell a soul. So I made stuff up that sounded cool and left out the really good stuff. Well this is my first blog after getting back from my summer vacation and I can’t tell you everything I did or I would have to kill you, and that would get complicated, considering the recent events in the news.
My wife and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary and her birthday, which happen to be the same day. I am the gift that keeps giving. This year, her sister let us stay in her lake house for the week and I took my boat, golf clubs, and motorcycle, and yes, my wife. She took books and sunscreen. She is so easy.
Day one: I played golf and set a new course record. Everyone was amazed at my skills and the fact that I had never played that course before. My score would have been much better, but I realized that I was playing so well that I was not getting my money’s worth, so I started playing left-handed with my right-handed clubs and using only half of a golf ball. After golf I went home to watch my wife tanning and reading. It was the highlight of my day. We ate dinner at a 5 star restaurant that evening where I left a $1000 tip and impressed my wife so much that I did not have to sleep in the spare bedroom that night.
Day two: We rode the motorcycle and when we got back I went fishing. I bought a used jon boat before we left and a used trolling motor and a new battery. Although I had fished this lake before, I had never been on this part of the lake. Fishing is all about knowing the lake and knowing where the fish are. There is a skill factor involved, but I never worry about that. On my first cast I hooked a monster of a fish. I was only using a small tackle that most people use for catching pan-fish, but I like to use it for larger fish to give them more of a chance. It took hours to get the fish close enough to the boat to see what is was. After an hour, there were boats from all over the lake watching what was happening. Some came close enough to offer help, but when they saw that I was only using one hand, they knew that I had things under control. Once I got the fish to the boat it was almost dark and because I only had a trolling motor, I did not want to run out of daylight, so I rigged line to the boat and to the fish and had it swim me back to my dock which was several miles away. I am sure that this was a state record, but I did not have the fish officially weighed. With all of the reports from others who saw the catch, I was awarded the unofficial world record by the president. That night in honor of the fish, I cooked a world-class meal for my wife and did not have to sleep on the couch.
On day three, I played golf again. This time I was not going to take it lightly. So I broke the course record again. I went home earlier to watch my wife sun-bathe and read a book. Again I prepared a world-class meal for her and watched a movie with her and did not have to sleep on the couch or in the spare bed room.
On day four it was our anniversary. Our custom is to go on a long ride together on the motorcycle, so we did. We went to see our daughter and have lunch with her then to see my wife’s parents and then home early enough to go out to a 5 star restaurant where again I tipped generously and wooed the wife enough to not have to sleep in the spare room or on the couch.
Day five I played golf and fished. It was amazing how many people on the golf course were asking me to go fishing again so they could watch me catch another unofficial world record and while I was on the lake, how many people wanted me to go play golf again so they could see me break the record again. Best part of the day was going back to watch the wife tan and read her book. A new record was made that night when I did not have to sleep in the spare room or on the couch for the 5th night in a row.
Day six, we loaded up and came back home and I did not have to sleep in the spare room or on our couch. It was a great vacation.

July 13, 2012

Still Married And Wanting More

by pastortimfowler

Next week my wife and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. That means I may not be blogging next week because we always take the week off and go somewhere. It is really strange saying that I have been married for 32 years. Most people my age have been married several times and few have that many years with the same person. I still remember when I thought that 30 was old. Now I have been married longer than that. I use to say that my wife married me when I was 12, but that still makes me older than I feel like I want to be.
I have been very blessed. I wish that everyone could experience the type of marriage that I have. I can honestly say that I love my wife more today than when we got married. We are still passionate and fun and learning each other. We love being together and trust each other when we are apart. We laugh, cry, and pray together and have no fears of dying with any regrets of what we could have done together. Our marriage is that special.
Now I don’t want you to think that we don’t have tough times. I tell everyone that my wife is the best of everything for me, including my best fight. No one can make me as angry as she can. But that is because we are passionate. But when we fight, we fight to make us stronger, and when that goes wrong, we forgive to make us humble. In our 32 years we have been on the brink of divorce twice. We have been in marriage counseling and we have been separated. We have been tempted to call it quits, but by the grace of God have never followed through with it. We have suffered through alcohol and drug abuse and self centeredness. We have had plenty of money and great careers and we have both been unemployed and dirt poor. All of these things have worked together to make us stronger.
We use our experiences to help others every chance that we get. We can look young couples in the eyes and tell them that we understand where they are and what they are going through. It brings us great joy to see a couple about to call it quits, turn things around and become stronger than ever.
As a husband, I can honestly say I am the best husband my wife has ever had. She knows this and will be the first to tell you that she has never married anyone that is as good as me. Of course, since I am the only husband she has ever had, I rank number one without any competition. That doesn’t change the fact that I am the best husband she has ever had though.
My wife is incredible. She is extremely smart and has the most incredible patience. She has worked her way to the top in corporate America, ran her own business, and helped to build our church. She has people skills that make her the type of friend that people dream of. As a mom, she is compassionate and nurturing and as a grandmother, or Mimi, she is the one responsible for spoiling the kids beyond repair. Add to all of this, she is unbelievably beautiful and sexy. Yes, I am truly blessed.
So next week, we are heading out to spend a week away from work and church and family and friends. We are going to ride the motorcycle, dine out, watch movies and read books. We are going to forget about the stresses of life and enjoy being together and reflect on how awesome it is to be married to each other. This will mean, no blogs, no Facebook, and no phones.
When we walked down that aisle and said our vows 32 years ago, no one thought that we would make it. Our dads even made bets about how quickly it would end. They said that we would never make it because we were too young and I was too messed up. They were correct about me, but God does work miracles. I was so happy to get married that day. It was the best thing that I could have ever done. I am happily and joyfully married and can’t wait to see what is coming in year 33 together and beyond.
Happy Anniversary to my bride and girl of my wildest dreams. Thanks for loving me and letting me love you.
I am still married and wanting more!

June 8, 2012

What’s New?

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrentunnicliff/3717968862/

Change is a natural part of life and yet so many people fear and even loath change. If change never happened, we would spend much of our lives beating on vending machines…get it? Change? Vending Machines? I kill me. But seriously, change gives us butterflies, frogs, ice, and a new diaper.
Recently my wife has been feeling like it is time to change. No, not husbands. No need to lower her standards. Her job has been a real pain in the neck and even a few months before the recent stretch of difficult times in her office, we have been talking about how perhaps God was leading her to go elsewhere.
Changing jobs can be quite nerve-racking in the best of times, but throw into the mix a bad job market and it gets even more difficult. But when my wife told me that she had turned in her two weeks notice, she said that she felt peace about it. I knew then that she was hearing from God. The Bible tells us that God gives us peace in difficult times as a way of knowing that we can trust Him. I know my wife is a woman who prays about things and listens to God for direction. This is no different.
There have been many times through the years that we have had to make tough decisions about jobs that did not make the most sense to some at the time it happened. Early in my ministry I also ran my own VCR repair business. Yep, I said VCR. It was during the time in my ministry when I was only getting part-time pay as a youth pastor and was feeling like I was not being effective in my ministry. At the same time I had an opportunity to expand my business to become a part of a national company and the money part of it was quite awesome. In the same week I learned that the church was cutting my part-time salary and that God, through my prayer life was telling me to close my business; you know, the one that just showed promise of a national account. But I had been asking God to make something happen and that I would trust Him when he did. I had peace about my decision and my wife supported me, so I closed the business and within a week was called to interview for my first full-time pastorate.
I had never thought about moving from the town we lived in. It was home and it was where my church was and all was fine. I had been at my church for almost 4 years and it was growing. But in my prayer time I felt like God was telling me that another change was coming. Within a few months there were things that happened that caused me to resign from my church and spend almost a year not being a pastor of any church. It was one of the toughest things I had ever done, but I knew it was right. One day I got a call from a church in the town I currently live in wanting to interview me for the pastor of their church. I had no intention of moving to another town and neither did my wife,but after the interview I had a peace about it that I couldn’t understand and within a month the move was on.
My wife was an executive at a major cellular company. It was a job that most people only dream of and the financial part of it was incredible. But shortly after taking the church, she began to feel like she needed to leave the company. Although we both knew that this meant dramatic financial cuts, we also knew that God was behind it because we both felt a peace about it. So she took early retirement and resigned. Because of that, she was able to work with me at the struggling church that hired me. We were leading it through bold changes and I needed her management skills like never before. Because she listened to God, we were able to lead the church through a change that resulted in the church that I currently pastor. This is a church where we are seeing people’s lives changed on a daily basis. It has grown from a church of barely 30 people who worshiped on Sunday morning to a place where over 150 people worship on Sunday morning. Not only that, but the amount of people who have gotten saved here is incredible. This all happened because of making tough decisions about changing jobs at weird times and trusting God instead of what logic says.
So I am excited to see what God has in store next for My wife and I. She has so many skills and gifts that can be used in so many ways that I am having a hard time imagining the awesome experience that is coming. Sure, there may be a few challenges along the way, but that is why God gives us the skills that we have and the peace that comes from His promise to provide all of our needs according to His riches in Glory!
Something new is on the way. I like new! I am made new by the power of God and what Christ did for me on the cross. In heaven, everything will be new all the time and that is hard to understand. So, new is good and new can only come with change. God says that He will change us into new creatures in Christ and lead us through the change every day. How can we go wrong. I am excited about what’s new!

March 2, 2012

Child Addiction

by pastortimfowler

My wife is addicted to little children. Our own children are grown and cannot or will not produce babes fast enough for her. So she has a plan to have every baby and little kid at our church think that she is their Mimi too. I am pretty sure that this is not dangerous, but I do think it is an addiction.
Last night she went to help a couple with a baby that is only a month or so old. Both of them are sick and they are new parents and they were just worn out. My wife is a very compassionate woman. She will help almost anyone. But when she sees an opportunity to hold and spoil a baby she quickly jumps to feed her habit. I got the call that she was going to their house about an hour before she got off from work and was told that they were desperate and needed her help. I immediately knew that she just needed a baby fix.
Guess what she is doing tonight? Going to visit our son who lives a couple of hours from here so that she can “help” them. And guess what they have at their house? Yep. A baby. She is staying there for the weekend and my suspicion is that she is gonna be so wired up on baby that she won’t be able to drive home and that is why she is staying the weekend. She really does not know how to take babies in moderation. As an ex addict myself, not to babies, I know the signs. You always try to justify what you are doing, but no matter how much you try you always end up over indulging. There have been times when she would come home from “helping a friend” and she would smell like baby or small child.
Don’t misunderstand, she is not dangerous and I am not scared of her when she is using. Rarely has she ever missed work and she has never lost a job because of it. She has never threatened me seriously with violence and for the most part it does not interfere with our marriage. There are times when I will choose to sleep on the couch because she is so strung out on babies and children, but it has not approached the point to where it threatens our relationship. From time to time she will stretch the truth about her habit. The other week she said that she was only going to have one or two kids and it ended up being six kids at once. I can tell you that one kid will take the edge off, but she is not satisfied until she is totally loaded with kids.
She tries to limit getting children from only people that she knows. Family and friends are her biggest suppliers. But she will quickly run to anyone who comes into our church with a child and try to, as she likes to call it, “love on them”. I have seen her trying to talk to strangers about their children but for now, I feel she can restrain herself.
I have to watch her closely. We cannot have children anymore. I thought that doctor had fixed the problem, but occasionally she will mention adopting. I am strong for her and I remind her that she is an addict and does not need children in the house all the time. Sure, I should probably put my foot down and get her some help, but without children, she can be difficult to live with, so I turn a blind eye and just try to help manage her addiction.

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.

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.

September 9, 2011

That Woman God Gave Me

by pastortimfowler

Yesterday I had the privilege of spending the whole day at Newspring Church in Anderson SC for their annual leadership conference. Although I had been there before for worship and a different training event, I could not believe what happened there this time. Pastor Perry Noble and his church are incredible tools that God is using to change the world. I know that sounds like a huge statement but I don’t think that I am exaggerating. They are really doing things that reach worldwide and doing it in a practical way.
This particular conference was to motivate leaders to follow the model of leadership set forth in the Bible and perfected by Jesus Christ.
I have been to many events in many churches before and usually walk away with really useful stuff. Occasionally I am moved to an emotional response that resembles an allergy attack in which my eyes start watering, but that is rare.
Yesterday was different. There were seven different pastors that spoke in front of the 3000 plus leaders who were gathered there and I felt so bad for all of those guys because the seven speakers were talking only to me. How they picked me out of the crowd I don’t know, but I was made to feel very special. I was hoping that this was a fluke after the first guy finished and then after the second guy did it too I got nervous, but when it continued all day I was on overload.
As a pastor, I feel confident that I hear from God daily as I try to lead and serve my church. I read and study my Bible daily, listen to other pastors who teach on the radio when I can, and I try my best to stay spiritually fed. But at this event I felt as if I was at an all you can eat dinner and I couldn’t get enough. Even when I knew I was full, I felt like God packed it down and stuffed in some more. I am not talking burgers and ‘dogs, but the finest spiritual cuisine one could eat.
One of the speakers spent 45 minutes talking about gratitude. When he said that this was his topic I wanted to zone out because I feel like I am a fairly grateful guy. But as he began to preach I realized over and over that I was falling short. The Bible tells us that we are to be thankful in everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. I am real good about gratitude for the good, and have even said thanks for some of the trials, but I often blame myself for things that go wrong. This guy said that we need to be careful blaming ourselves for those thing that go wrong or we may be quick to take credit when things go right. God gives us trials to make us stronger, not for us to play the blame game.
The one area that I was most convicted was my gratitude for my wife. I take her for granted more than I ever should. I am supposed to be Christ to her and so many times I am more like the devil, and not in the fun way that we like to think. Not only does she support me in everything we do, and she is a great cook, a great mom, a great worker, a great friend, but she is also great in the things that she does that I don’t like. Sounds weird, but I am not grateful for those things like I should be. They are just as much part of the person I love as the other things, yet I am quick to complain. Oops, sorry honey. I love you for who you are, all of you.
This pastor made a statement that scared me in a Godly way. He said if you are not grateful for the things that God has given you because you think that they have flaws, God can always take it back. God does not make mistakes and we need to understand this. I made a promise to take her for better, worse, rich, poor, sick, and health. I have overwhelmingly had the best side of it all. The few things that I find irritating, I really want to be grateful for because if I don’t have those small parts, I don’t have her.
So, I am praying to be really grateful for her, not what she does. I want to thank God every moment of the day for my wife who is better than I ever deserved and quit acting like I am entitled to anything at all. What I deserve is nothing close to what He has given me. I have more to be grateful for than I can count and my wife makes up the biggest part of all those things.
Thank you God for every part of who my wife is. She is perfect for me, and I am for ever grateful.