Posts tagged ‘ask’

January 2, 2013

2013…the year of the blog

by pastortimfowler

Story_of_God

 

Happy New Year to all in the blogosphere. 2013 is going to be a great year if you have the right attitude and motivation. My motivation is driven by what I find in God’s Word, the Bible. I know some who read these things are not big Bible believers and some are skeptics, and some are on the fence about what you believe. But I happen to believe it and think that it is quite a motivational book when understood and taken in context.
This year I thought that I would try to share more of that with you. This does not mean that you will always agree with me, although you should, but I hope that it will challenge you to think about a few things, especially things like eternity and whether or not we need to be concerned about it. I invite feedback and criticism, after all, nothing sparks a good debate better than the Bible. All I ask is that you keep it clean and keep it open for thought and discussion.
Each year I try to read the Bible from beginning to end. I have been doing this for about 20 years now and most years have been successful. Every time I read it I find something awesome and refreshing and I learn something new. I have had to change my mind on some stuff because I better understood the whole thing and have had to eat some crow because I did not understand things as well as I thought. But one thing has always been true; I have never found a contradiction that could not be explained or could lead me to believe the Bible is wrong. There are still plenty of things that I can’t explain, but nothing that I can’t accept.
So this year as I read through it again, I am going to share some of my findings and ask some questions and who knows, maybe I will give some answers. I am going to be blunt and give evidence or at least attempt to give some logic and every now and then I may even have to say that I just don’t know the answer. The reason is, I think I have more and better answers from the Bible than most are getting from elsewhere, especially when it comes to trying to prove that God does not exist and that the Bible is not scientific. I think you may be surprised by what I might share over the next year.
God has always been a source of controversy. No one was around when He created it all, so skeptics says it was an accident. Most who disagreed with Him have already died and although they know the truth now, can’t argue anymore. Those who are still alive can’t prove He doesn’t exist any more than I can prove He does. And, God does not need to proven to be God. I will leave you with this to close out this blog. Not believing in God will not stop you from meeting Him. If I am wrong, it really doesn’t matter. But if you are wrong, eternity is riding on it.
Thanks for an awesome 2012 and thanks for following me into 2013. It is going to be a great year! The year of the blog!

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August 22, 2012

Forgive It

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26015375@N06/3914730774/

2 Corinthians 2:5-11
5 If someone caused distress, I’m not the one really affected. To some extent—although I don’t want to emphasize this too much—it has affected all of you.
6 The majority of you have imposed a severe enough punishment on that person.
7 So now forgive and comfort him. Such distress could overwhelm someone like that if he’s not forgiven and comforted.
8 That is why I urge you to assure him that you love him.
9 I had also written to you to test you. I wanted to see if you would be obedient in every way.
10 If you forgive someone, so do I. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did in the presence of Christ for your benefit.
11 I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming.

The Apostle Paul is talking to a church who is not forgiving one of its members. I am not sure what was done, but what I do know, because of his other teachings, is that this person must have asked for others to forgive. You see, it is biblical that if you have wronged someone who you should ask for the forgiveness and if you ask another Christian, they are required to give the forgiveness. If someone does not ask, there is no repentance, and no forgiveness is required to be given. I am sure that someone is going to challenge me on this, but I am talking about a situation that is being dealt with in this church and this spans both letters that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth.
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things for anybody to do. When we get hurt, it is somehow in us to return the hurt rather than forgiving. Sure, some of this comes from that person not asking, but far too often I hear people saying that they just won’t forgive.

Paul says that in the case where it has been asked, and withheld, we risk overwhelming that person. Later in this same letter Paul states that Christians have been given the ministry of reconciliation. In other words, we are to fix broken relationships, not shatter the pieces even further, making things beyond repair. So when we are asked to forgive, we should, and in that, we strengthen that person and encourage that same pattern of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Paul tells them that by forgiving, they are assuring that person of the love they have from us. It is easy to love those who treat us right. Anyone can do that. But Christians are supposed to love like Christ loves, and we must remember that while we were still His enemy, Christ died for us, showing His love. Love is not warm fuzzy feelings and never having to say you are sorry. Love is patient, kind, not selfish and doesn’t keep track of wrongs, according to the Bible.
Far too many Christians miss being like Jesus when they don’t forgive. Many others miss feeling the love of Jesus by not asking for the forgiveness. Forgiveness is the act of giving up our right to be angry and instead of holding a grudge, hold our relationship with people higher than our pride. Far too many marriages crumble because they are too busy pointing the finger of blame rather than opening the arms in love.

I encourage you to ask if you need forgiveness and give it when asked. Satan wants Christians to hold grudges and act like we don’t love people. Paul says that we should not be outwitted and that we should know that this unforgiveness thing is part of Satan’s scheme. Kick Satan in the butt and forgive. You will be more like Christ if you do, and something tells me that you will feel better than if you continue to hold that grudge.

May 19, 2011

Just Ask

by pastortimfowler

This morning I woke up early and had a horrible head-ache. I did not sleep much last night for a couple of reasons. First, I made the mistake of turning the Braves game on and it was a close game that went into extra innings, and it was played in Arizona, so it was a couple of hours behind us. Second was, and I believe that this was the main reason, I sat in on our church’s Wednesday night lady’s Bible study. Although I really enjoyed it, my head was filled with questions that they had asked me. Although I try to give the best answers that I can, when asked a lot of them, and some were tough ones, I always question whether or not I gave the best and most accurate answers possible. So I laid there try trying to remember the questions and the answers and of course watching the game.


If you are a guy and you have never been asked to sit in on a room full of women so that they can ask you questions, you are a blessed man. It is a lot like being a steak hung in front of a group of lions. (don’t take that they wrong way, however you were trying to twist it). But if you are an adrenaline junky, it could be right up your alley. For a pastor, it is humbling, to say the least. I think there were 15 women and most of them were hungry for the Word of God, and I was blessed to be there.
So many people go through their Christian life and never ask questions. I am not sure why. I do know that some do not know what to ask because they do not read the Bible and therefore don’t want to sound foolish. Others I believe think that they know it all and don’t have to ask. But I am not really sure why most people are afraid to ask about the things that deal with faith.
When Jesus was teaching His disciples, they asked questions. They asked about the kingdom that was coming and the kingdom that was in place. They asked about forgiveness and the asked about sin. They asked about miracles and healing and even where they were going to get food from. They even asked Jesus to teach them how to pray and to increase their faith. These guys had no problem asking questions and we could learn from this.
Sometimes we are scared away from asking questions because of the way others have treated us in the past when we asked. We have all heard that there are no stupid questions only stupid answers, but those stupid answers can make us not want to ask any more. I had a coach one time who quoted that “no stupid questions” thing to us all the time. Then when you asked him a question, he would tell you “that was a stupid question.”
God set the church up in order to have people in place that can answer questions. He gave gifts to those in the church like, teaching and preaching and prophesy. He told us to go and make disciples of others and that means to teach the ways of Christ. Hopefully we are teaching like Christ taught, with love and patience and a desire to spark curiosity enough to ask questions. God wants His people to be a family and families asks questions and raise up children in wisdom and in love.
Years ago I found out that when God allows you to learn something about Him, He wants us to tell everyone else that we possibly can about it too. God is so incredible that there is no way that anyone will every know everything about Him. Him is constantly revealing Himself to anyone who will seek to know Him. He desires us to ask the deep and intimate questions about who He is and what He wants from us. He loves it when we ask questions. Often He will answer us directly, but from time to time He want us to ask others. The Bible tells us to seek Godly wisdom and follow the leaders that He has in place. If He has placed these leaders, then they have the same heart to teach God’s ways and a desire to be asked the questions and give loving answers.
I love teaching God’s word. I know what He did for me and how He forgave me of so much and restored everything that was important to me. He blessed me to have a great family and most of all, a godly wife who shares my passion. He has allowed me to pastor a church that is full of people who desire to know God better and aren’t afraid to keep their pastor awake at night because they ask a lot of questions. And if I don’t have an answer I am not afraid to tell you that I don’t know, but love the challenge of seeking the answer, even if it means asking a few questions myself.
Please, learn ask many questions as you can about our awesome and loving God and Savior Jesus Christ. If you don’t know something about Him, just ask!