Posts tagged ‘blessing’

September 27, 2012

27 September, 2012 16:01

by pastortimfowler

Berkeley Bowl Cash Registers

My friend told me the other day about how he wanted to yell at someone in Walmart who was supposed to be working there but kept ignoring him and treating him as if he were in the way. I have blogged about my thoughts on customer service before and I feel his pain. I was at a sporting goods store today and there was one person working the register as 8 people were waiting to check out. Meanwhile there was a girl at the door greeting, or should I say supposed to be greeting, customers as they walked in. The two girls were talking to each other and even taking phone calls as we, the customers, waited. I began to frown.
We often say silly things like, “I wanted to slap them” or “I wanted to yell at them” when we are in these situations. We are conditioned to think that we should respond to a bad situation with something equally as bad. After all, don’t they deserve it? This sounds like the correct response, but if you are a Christian, it is not the right response at all. Romans 12:17- Don’t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you. Focus your thoughts on those things that are considered noble.
If I had a dollar for every time that I heard a Christian say that they were justified by getting even with someone for what they had done, I would be a rich man. When I remind them about the verse above they often respond with, “But you don’t know what they did to me.” No I don’t, but I do know what Christ did for us and it was not giving us what we deserve. Need I remind you that in the same book of Romans we are told that what we deserve for our sin is death. God loves us and gives us forgiveness and life though. This surely is not what we deserve. I know that some of you were not as bad as I use to be, and can still be, and you may be thinking that you don’t deserve death for your sin, but none are righteous, not even one.
Arrogance and pride are what cause us to think that we should pay others back for not being as nice to us as we think they should be. The idea that if we were in a position to pass out judgement for things that others do and we would be completely righteous in our verdicts is quite funny. When we are rude or short with others, do we deserve a slap? Of course not. We are not as bad as that other person. Here is the problem with that thinking. When it comes to righteous judgement, only God can do that. He will use the standard of how you compare to Jesus and not how others compare to you or me. When that standard is applied, we all fall short. That is why God offers complete forgiveness when we ask and does not give us what we deserve until we face our final judgement and have rejected His Son’s payment for our sins.
So the next time you are in line and get treated worse than you expect to be, or the next time that someone really wrongs you and you think about revenge, think about what God does for us and decide to be more like Jesus than like, well, me.
Now excuse me while I go back to the sporting goods store and smile about the fact that I am fully able to stand in line and wait. That is a blessing that some are not able to do. Ain’t God good?

September 7, 2012

Camping With A 7 Year Old

by pastortimfowler

 

Our Cub Scout troop from our church is taking a weekend camping trip to the beach this weekend. Because my son has to work, I, Papa, will be taking the 7-year-old boy. I have the tent loaded up, sleeping bags, flash lights, munchies, laptop, and wireless card, all necessities for this trip, ready to go. I will be picking him up as soon as he gets home from school and driving 3 and a half hours to the campground.
Because I have to be back for church Sunday morning, we will only be staying the night and most of the day tomorrow. The others will be staying through to Sunday. On the agenda is a beach clean up. cook out, and some fishing. We will have a good bit of free time Saturday, so there is no telling what else we may do. I am trying to decide if I want to take the bikes and or the dog.
Those who know me know that me and kids are a weird mix. I love them and enjoy watching them when they are with others. So now I get to hang out with a bunch of them and get to spend the night in a tent with my own 7-year-old boy. I WILL HAVE FUN!
I am looking forward to fishing and taking the boy to the beach. If I take the dog, I look forward to trying to get her in the water. This is the little white dog and she is not a big fan of swimming, but loves to wade. I look forward to cooking breakfast in the morning. There is nothing like bacon and eggs cooked outside after a night in the tent. I am going to work hard and show the boy how to serve with a smile. I am looking forward to seeing how many strange pictures I can take and post on Facebook.
Last month I did a blog on how God was testing me and how for some reason I was being blessed with being around a bunch of Kids. Well, God is still blessing me. I have got to figure out what I am doing right. Perhaps it is time for a week of rebellion? Just kidding. I am learning patience and I am being given some time to make memories. After the death of my dog this month, God has shown me just how precious time with someone or something you love really is. So I am going to make the most of this. I am going to remember that when I was a kid, I didn’t have a granddad that spent time with me. I am going to make some memories.
So please pray for my patience and pray that I stay focused on the blessing at hand. Pray that I remember to laugh before I scream and only scream if I am having that much fun. Pray that the 3 and a half hour ride down there and back goes quickly. Pray that it doesn’t rain, but if it does, the wi-fi works. Pray that this time next year the 7-year-old boy remembers how much fun we had and wants to do it again.

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 17, 2012

Trial by Children

by pastortimfowler

a boy and his steed

As I told you a few weeks ago, God was messing with me, I mean, blessing me with extra children around the house. My wife started baby sitting and we took an international student into our home for the school year. I believe the Bible; all of it. I don’t understand all of it and do have some questions for God when I get there. This verse is one I think I will question: Psalm 127:3 – Children are an inheritance from the LORD. They are a reward from him. A reward? Really?
So with the rewards piling up, I was trying to think about all the things that I must have done right to deserve these rewards. I know that I am an excellent husband and treat my wife better than she deserves. I get up early and fix her coffee. I do dishes and cook and sometimes the other way around. I keep the yard looking as well as could be expected and I am just an all around good guy. But to reward me with children for that? Couldn’t God have just given me a couple of free rounds of golf?
I am a great dad to my own children. A raised them for 18 years and through them out of the nest so that they would learn to fly. Sure they bumped their butts a little, but on the third or fourth bounce, they got it. All of them are out of jail and free of any communicable diseases, as far as I know, and they either have a husband who is like me or are a husband like me. That surely does not deserve more children back in my house does it? How about a fishing trip to the Amazon River in South America? That would be sufficient.
I am an awesome pastor too, just ask the people that I pay to say that who use to go to my church. I tell them that they are going to Hell and how to avoid it. I keep all of my sermons short and stay on point so that no one is forced to wonder what I am talking about. I rarely turn down a opportunity to have people buy my lunch if they want to talk to me and, I let people bring me peach milkshakes from Chic- Fil-A anytime they wish. Does this deserve the reward of children? Hardly. Perhaps an all expenses paid Bible conference in the Bahamas might be more appropriate.
And we can’t forget that I provide almost an endless supply of fantastic and informing blogs that keep you on the edge and have you begging for more. These blogs challenge your minds and imaginations and keep you laughing and therefore bring great joy to many lives daily. But reward me with children? No, I am not worthy. It would be more appropriate to send money to my church and designate it for the pastor’s vacation fund.
Yes, I feel like this may be a trial that I am going through. Perhaps a trial to keep me humble and learn patience. Perhaps a trial to learn to accept blessings of great magnitude, even though I may not deserve them, so I should just accept them. If this is so, I thank God for the rewards, but ask God to scale it back a bit and stick with the simple and less rewarding things like golf and fishing trips.

August 9, 2011

Granny Has A Gun

by pastortimfowler

What an eye-opening experience I had yesterday. I am not sure how close together it happened, but my wife had it too. We both realized, not out of ignorance, but rather out of amazement, that as of now, all of our children have children of their own. I am not sure why it was so mind-blowing but it was. We have been very blessed with the fact that we have great children of our own and now each one of them have given us a grandchild. I never dreamed that one day I would be looking at having three children and each of them with children. WOW!.
Proverbs 17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of grandparents, and parents are the glory of their children. How true this is. Even though I have been a grandparent for about 7 years now, this never gets old. But seeing the youngest of your own children having his first is pretty cool.
I often get worried about what kind of world they will grow up in. I worried the same about my kids, but they had an awesome dad. My two sons can only hope to be as awesome a dad as I am, and my daughter was never going to find someone good enough for her or to father my grandkids. But that is what my father in law said about me and he was wrong. Some how I think they will all exceed my expectations though.
But we do live in a world that is much more unstable and much less friendly to children. With the invention of the internet, child predators are coming out in groves and it means that parents must be on their toes more. Our kids are really good parents, but I still worry. I guess it would only be fair that I should let every child predator know that I am a Christian. This means that I am forgiven of every sin that I ever have or ever will commit. Although this does not give me a license to sin, it does give me the peace of knowing that if I snap and kill some pervert who would ever even attempt to hurt my grandkids, that I would still go to heaven. And in case someone might be thinking that I don’t have it in me to do such a thing, I should also tell you that I received my marksmanship medal after achieving a perfect score while I was in the military and I still practice regularly. Not only do I have a hand gun, but I carry it, loaded. What would be even worse is if my wife got a hold of you. She too is an expert shot, but she is much meaner than I am when it comes to our grandchildren.
Sorry for chasing that rabbit, but it felt good.
God has blessed me with so much and I don’t know why, other than He is just an awesome God who loves us more than we can understand. Every time I see a newborn baby I marvel at His ability to create life and then to think that He entrusts me to have a part in raising that life. It is a tall order, but I love stepping into the responsibility. I think I am going to pray that everyone gets to experience having grandkids.
So quickly let me tell you a few things that were incredible yesterday when Bryson was born.
Watching my son agonized over his wife in labor.
Watching my son walk into the room holding his newborn son.
Watching my daughter in law weep tears of joy as she held him.
Watching my wife glow with pride and love as she held Bryson and then as she held our son.
Watching Bryson look at me as I held him. He smiled bigger then than any other time that day.
Seeing Bryson wear his Gamecock ‘boggin’ as he was smiling at me.
Watching all the responses from so many of you as you sent your congratulations.
Thanks for the support and prayers. Thank God for His love and blessing.

August 8, 2011

Welcome Bryson Daniel Fowler

by pastortimfowler

It is hard to fathom that today our 7th grandchild was born. Bryson Daniel Fowler, was born via C-section at 3:39pm today. He weighed 7lbs 3ozs and was almost 20 inches long. Mom and baby are doing fine, dad is a bit rattled but expected to pull through. Papa is doing fine and should not suffer any ill effects until Mimi starts to spoil him.
God has blessed me beyond my ability to understand. All of my children now have children and they are all awesome! No matter how hard I try, I am at a loss for words to describe this feeling. So I guess I will just say praise God!
Sadly we will have to drive home tonight, but the weekend will be here before we know it and we will be back.
Thanks to everyone for your prayers. Thanks to God for a healthy baby boy! Welcome, Bryson, we are thrilled to have you here!

June 30, 2011

What More Can They Want?

by pastortimfowler

Five years ago today I did a wedding for a couple of young people who were weird and wacky. They had dreams of making it big in the music industry and living happily ever after. They went to school, moved around, and chased a dream. Dreams come true.
My youngest son and his wife celebrate 5 years of marriage today. I know that this does not qualify as happily ever after but it sure is a start. Few couples that I know have been willing to make the sacrifices and work as hard to make their dreams come true as these two. Paying their own way through school, taking jobs that seemed quite a stretch to achieve their goals and never giving up on seeking what they were looking for.
Today they serve in the music ministry in one of the largest and most dynamic churches in South Carolina, maybe even the USA. The music industry can be a brutal place to make a living and certainly to live out a Christian life. Staying true to your roots and to yourself and to each other can be extremely difficult, but so far so good. I have watched them take risks that many warned against taking and watch the rewards of those risks pay off now. As a pastor and a dad I can’t be more proud of where they serve and how they serve and what they have done so far.
Not only do they celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary, but this year they will also celebrate the birth of their first child, a boy. Although this will be our 7th grandchild, it is not less thrilling! Anytime that God blesses one of your children with a child it is incredible. Children are a blessing from God and grandchildren are the crown of the grandparents! We can’t wait to hold him in our arms and tell him of our love for him and our pride for his parents and our thankfulness to God for him.
It would be nice to be able to send them away for week as they celebrate their anniversary or to lavish them with other expensive gifts, but unfortunately that can’t happen right now. We feel as though we are the ones who have gotten the gifts with the way they live their lives and have blessed us with a grandson. But what I can do and will never stop doing is praying for their marriage, their children, and their ministry. I will always have great pride in them being my family and great humility in knowing that they are all a gift from God. And now, I have included them in a 2nd blog…what more can they want?

March 9, 2011

Complaining about the mud.

by pastortimfowler

My old pastor once told me that if you prayed for rain, you should not complain about the mud. But I hate the mud. Mud ruins your carpet, your shoes, your ability to let the dogs use the doggy door all day, it just messes things up.
In the Old Testament book of 1Kings, chapter 17, Elijah the prophet said it would not rain for 7 years and it didn’t. Can you imagine 7 years with no rain. You go 7 weeks around here with no rain and people start freaking out. They did not have water systems back then like we do today that can bring water from miles away they had to depend on what fell from the sky and that was about it. 7 years with no rain would cause many problems. Imagine what the gardens were like. After a while there would not be any gardens and if you didn’t store up years worth of food, you and your family would starve.
After a few weeks drinking water would begin to run low. Washing dishes would cease. I think this is the first place that paper plates were thought of. I’m just sayin’…
Bathing would have to be all but stopped. That would make for some smelly people. Can you imagine some of your friends who smell now because they don’t bathe every day and what they would smell like after a month or two? Of course kids would be happier. They never like to bathe anyway.
I am sure that many of the golf courses back them had to shut down and football fields switch over to Astroturf.
How many of the folks do you think were praying hard for rain after a few months? How about after a few years? Can you imagine the praying going on in year seven? I bet everyone who knew God, thought they knew God, thought that others knew God, and even those who knew they didn’t know God were praying. It is funny how many and who prays when a disaster hits. I heard a guy asking people to pray for his mom who just found out she had cancer and he was an atheist. It’s like someone once said, ‘There are no atheists in foxholes’.
So as the story goes, after seven years with no rain, this same guys prayed for rain and it happened. How many others do you think took credit for the praying that day? Everyone who was ever a religious person of any sort was taking credit for that one.
The story I am talking about does not go here, but I wonder, how many people, shortly after it was raining a while and there was mud all over the place, started complaining about all the mud? You know it and I know it, people complained. Stuff being washed away, houses being forced to get new roofs, cars being flooded.
My point is this. With every curse there is a blessing and with every blessing there is someone going to complain.
Think about what you ask for, you just might get it.
So, if you pray for rain, enjoy playing in the mud for a while.