Posts tagged ‘advise’

August 2, 2012

The Internet Friend

by pastortimfowler

Internet Sign

As a pastor, I have studied the Bible for almost 20 years now. I have my Masters and worked toward my Doctorate until I got tired of going to school. I have challenged traditional teaching and made it a point to never take someone’s word about the meaning of any one liner quoted by anyone trying to prove a point. I have gotten used to people questioning me and my faith and I understand where they are coming from most of the time because I used to do the same. But I was not satisfied with the fact that logic kept screaming at me that things that have design don’t happen by chance, they happen because of a designer. I never once came across something that I, in seeing it for the first time, like a liquor bottle-shaped like the state of South Carolina, immediately thought that it was a mistake or chance of nature rather than something designed by a designer and then intelligently made it. Call me stupid if you want, but I just never thought like that.
I have on rare occasions gone to the doctor and wanted him to help me figure out what was wrong with my body. Not that there is anything wrong with it as it is, just sometimes I do get sick. When the doctor comes back with the diagnosis, I don’t argue with him and tell him he doesn’t know what he is talking about. I trust him as an educated guy who has studied the human body and how to help it heal. Sure, there are some corrupt doctors who use this knowledge for profit, but overall, their intentions are good and honorable. Somehow, as a pastor and someone who has spent years studying the Bible, I and others like me, are made out to be wackos and manipulators. A wacko I may be, but not a manipulator. I am not profiting from telling someone what the Bible says. I am, like the doctor who trys to help someone who self diagnosis’ himself , only trying to give accurate facts to help that person better understand the Bible.
Yes we all make mistakes. Yes we all have our own beliefs. But there is this thing called absolute truth and there can only be one truth. If you don’t think so, then please answer this one question. Are you absolutely sure that there is no absolute truth? God says that He is truth and that His word is truth. He also tells us that we are not God. I am going to lean toward the God’s side of that argument.
Lately I have had several discussions with people about how they disagree with me and the Bible. When I ask where they get their interpretation of the Bible, they often quote a verse or two and tell me that they read an article on the internet. That is like me saying that I read part of an anatomy book and saw an article online and that is why the doctor is wrong.
We all have friends who know everything. I have a friend who is an expert mechanic. He knows everything about cars. He went to school to be an accountant and works in a firm as an accountant, but he can tell me everything that is wrong with any car. Those stupid mechanics at the dealership often disagree with him. Go figure. Another friend is an expert in football. He can tell you why every team loses their game and what should have been done differently. He knows this because he played little league football when he was 8 years old and has the NFL channel. He did not go to college and rarely even goes to NFL games or college games, and he works as a salesman. My friend who coaches the local high school football team never asks the salesman for advice. Hmmm.
So as you know, our friend, the internet, knows everything too. Like television, if it is on the internet it has to be true.
I don’t suggest making a life or death decision about your health based on what you read on the web. I don’t suggest replacing the whole engine in your car based on the chat room conversation with the guy who is a master mechanic. I don’t suggest making your decision on who God is based on one or two lines quoted by your friend or the internet either.
We can agree to have our differences about what the Bible says about marriage and drinking and gambling and other stuff, but what it says about eternity needs to be considered more seriously. If you mess up in one of those other areas, God still loves you and will forgive you if you ask. If you mess up in whether or not God is who He says He is or if He is real or not, just because you think you or the internet are smarter than Him, that could be a tough one to get around. Don’t let a friend be your doctor if he is an accountant and don’t let the internet friend be your god. Both can cause an irreversible death.

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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.