Posts tagged ‘anniversary’

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.

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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!

July 15, 2011

Back Out Bowing

by pastortimfowler

This will be my last blog for a while, until Monday July 25 2011. I will be leaving this Sunday after church for vacation and although I will be taking my laptop, I am not even sure if there is wi-fi where we are staying. If there is I may sneak in a short blog just to rub it in that I am on vacation.
I suppose that you are wondering where the rich and famous go on vacation? I don’t know. I am not rich and famous. We are going to a state park on a lake in beautiful South Carolina. We are borrowing our favorite daughter’s RV that we sold her because she kept borrowing it from us. From there we will get in a few day trips on the motorcycle, but we will mainly relax and do as little as possible, outside of reading and fishing.
On the 19th of this month, my wife and I will celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary. It is also her birthday: it is not her 29th again: it is not any in the 30s or 40s but she is not in her 60s. She is not 51-59 and definitely not 70-100. We actually celebrated her birthday last month in order to get family and friends together for a surprise party, so this will be mainly our anniversary trip. Of course, since I married her on her birthday, she gets me every year and I am the gift that keeps giving, so what more could she ask for.
Every year we try to get away for a week. We both live very busy lives and rarely take much time off. Most years we take a week-long motorcycle trip. We have been to Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, all over South Carolina, and even rode to Niagara Falls one year. This year we will just use the state park as our base. This allows us to ride all day without carrying a weeks worth of clothes everywhere.
I have been extremely blessed to have been married to the same woman for 31 years. Since I was only 12 when we got married, I had to grow up fast. I had to quickly learn how to handle an older woman and start making her into the woman I wanted her to be. We have had our share of hard times. There was this one time when she rebelled against me as I was training her to bow as she backed out of the room. Wow, I didn’t think we would ever get through that one. But most of our time together has been filled with good times. We have raised 3 children together, several cats, some dogs, a parrot, and a snake. The animals all turned out great except for that mentally ill cat. The children, well lets just say we tried. Now as grandparents we are livin’ la vida loca. We can spoil kids and send them home with noisy toys that drive their parents crazy.
So for the next week, try to think happy thoughts and not drink too much as you suffer through a week that may not contain my blogs. I’ll be back. I am just going to take a few days to celebrate, relax, and reflect. But if you get lucky and there is wi-fi, I just might do a vacation blog just because I can.
To my beautiful wife JoAnne, I love you, happy birthday, happy anniversary, and well done on learning to back out of the room while bowing.