Posts tagged ‘children’

November 19, 2012

God In The Irritations Of My Life

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31735795@N08/4142227460/

Sorry for the lack of blogs lately. I have been dealing with the aftermath of the church fire, extra people in my house, and a barrage of other stuff that has had me a bit distracted. Through it all, God has been in touch with me, mainly through Twitter and Facebook, but sometimes right in my face. I thought that I could share a few things that He showed me.
He is in the stuff that I find irritating. I know that this may sound as if I am saying that God is irritating, and I am not. I do get rather flustered with Him from time to time because He refuses to let me be in charge or He lets me and everything gets all messed up. But, God is in the stuff that has been irritating me in some really cool ways.
I love my grandkids and I love the kids in my church. But kids irritate me. Unlike my wife who is a kid addict, I can only tolerate kids in small amounts and in short bursts. So with the fire at our church rendering our children’s area unusable, the kids have been coming into the adult worship area while I am preaching. The result; several of them have accepted Jesus as their Savior and I got to baptize 5 of them in the last two weeks. Many of them have come up to me and told me with all the excitement of a little child about how cool it was and thanked me for it. WOW! God is all in that irritation.
Lately I have been trying to do more with my grandkids, especially my oldest grandson who is 7. He lives with his dad and mom and a bunch of girls, and girls are trouble, we all know that. His dad works rotating shifts and does not get to take part in things like scouts and a lot of weekend stuff, so I am trying to fill in. In the past few months I have been to three camping events with him and slept in a tent and gone without a shower and fed him more junk food than he should have ever been allowed to eat.
I also took him to a Gamecock football game this weekend. There is about an hour drive to the stadium from my house and to help keep him entertained, I took the wife’s tablet so he could play games. I find it hard to have meaningful conversation with a 7-year-old for more than a couple of minutes, much less for an hour. Guess what? The tablet was not charged. So for an hour, we talked. Did you know that a 7-year-old can talk continuously for 15 minutes without stopping or even breathing? And I learned that I could throw a Chees-it and hit him in the mouth while I was driving but can’t catch one when he throws it. I also learned that if you slowed down beside the semi truck while he pumped his fist, that after several miles, even the toughest truck driver will eventually blow his horn.
I love to watch the Gamecocks play. Having a 7-year-old with you limits that ability. But when it is really cold and the wind is blowing hard and you told the kid to leave his jacket in the truck because you were not taking yours, kids can be an excellent heat source. So he sat in my lap most of the game and that was a great way to talk about the game, and eat pizza at the same time. And because it was military appreciation day, I got to tell him how God allowed us to be free to do what we are doing because of their service. Then to hear him say, ” God wanted us to be here today” was the icing on the cake.
I came home that night to find my 1-year-old grandson there. He will be staying with us for a few days. I don’t get to see him that often because his parents live a couple of hours away. But when I walked in, he ran to me. I tried to run away, but God wanted him to hug me and kiss me. I get really irritated when slobbery little kids try to kiss me, especially when I am not ready and they kiss me in the mouth. (gag). I am not sure why I felt the overwhelming presence of God at that time, but I did.
And finally, the fire at the church. What a pain. But I have met some really awesome people who are working to clean up the mess. I have talked to them about our church, invited them to attend, and had several tell me that they will come. My church folks have been amazingly understanding about the inconvenience and have stepped up in more ways than I can count to make this really irritating circumstance more than bearable.
God has really been in the middle of this most irritating time. He has been the peace when things are hectic. He has been the wisdom when things are crazy. He has been the love when I felt like I did not want to love or be loved. But I don’t know why I am surprised. He promised that He would never leave me or forsake me. He never lies and never disappoints. He gives me so many reasons to be thankful and just in time for Thanksgiving. What an awesome God I serve!

August 17, 2012

Trial by Children

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcbeth/2568041356/

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.

July 30, 2012

Expecting More

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lollar/14941173/in/photostream/

As a pastor of many years and a church person of many more, there have been a lot of things that have stuck with me. One of them is how church people can get stuck in ruts of complacency. I did a blog last week about getting in a comfort zone. It is a dangerous thing for people who claim to know God to get to the point to where they expect the same ol’ stuff from God. But this is not a blog about being comfortable, it as about expecting more.
This morning I was talking with someone at the church and we were laughing about how busy we have been. At our church it is common to have stuff happening every day of the week. We like to use our building and let others use it. But there are a few things that are unique to our church and that is what we were talking about. In the last week we have not only had our regular schedule of worship and classes, but we have had a wedding, a funeral, baptisms, communion, baby dedication, and salvation. On top of that, we have recently been on missions trips, raised money for other churches, hosting exchange students, helped church members who needed it, helped homeless in our area, and regularly do counseling. This year we have had outdoor movies, tailgate parties, motorcycle rides, scuba trips, and of course the ever popular church work day. All of this leads to bunches of people visiting us for the first time and many deciding to stick around.  So much that we have almost reached our capacity on Sunday morning at 10:30am and are preparing to start a second worship time the first Sunday in January 2013. Not to brag too much, but we have had the privilege of seeing over 60 people make a decision to trust Jesus and over 30 of those have already been baptized this year, 2012.
All of this makes for a crazy pace and it often feels like we never know what to expect next. I love it. It sounds crazy at times and would be overwhelming if it weren’t for all the people who help make these things happen. I believe it is all in line with what God wants us to do because of all the ones who come to know Jesus. Far to often churches are fine with the same faces in the crowd every week. We get very uncomfortable if we don’t see strange faces in our crowd.
It is exciting to see what God can do using a bunch of strange people like us. He never asked for us to be better than anyone else, but rather God asks us to admit that we are sinners in need of His help. Then He forgives our sins, if we ask, and helps us to make changes in our lives that please Him. Most importantly, God wants us to love people, just the way they are. When that happens, people get curious and God gets the glory when they get to know Him, through His people.
I am expecting more from God. He never tires of blessing His children. He never gets bored and is never boring. If you have gotten that impression of God, you have been in the wrong place. The God I know and see working in my church is incredible and loving and far from boring. He has plenty of room in His family and in His church for you. Sure, you may have to change your mind on a few things, but that is the same with all of us who call ourselves Christians. Jesus said that He came to give us life and give it more abundantly, and He does not lie, I am expecting more!

May 31, 2012

Welcome To This World, Coraline!

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/flupken/3121527422/

I went to see my friend and his wife and their new baby last night. It was their first child and they were thrilled. I love seeing first time parents with their new babies, especially the dad. In this case, the baby was delivered via “C-section, so mom was still under the influence of the pain meds. They had both seen the baby in the delivery room, but she had not yet been brought from the nursery into their room yet. The nurse had been in checking on mom and said that they were going to bring the baby in a few minutes. At that time it was only me and the parents in the room. Some of the immediate family were on their way and showed up right before they brought the baby in, but I got to hang out with them by myself for a few minutes.
I don’t know mom that well. I have met her a few times but never had the privilege of hanging out and getting to know her. I play cards with dad once a month and have done so for over two years. Because I don’t know her that well I won’t make fun of mom and some of the things I observed as she enjoyed the pain meds. But that is one of the fun things about visiting a mom who just delivered via cesarean. They think that they are acting normal, but they are not.
Dad was trying real hard to act normal, but you can’t after your first child is born. You would think that they shared the pain meds with dad sometimes by the way they act. Of course I never acted goofy when my kids were born because, well, have you met my kids? This guy was doing pretty good though. He showed me pictures from right after the birth. Very few babies are cute then, to outsiders, but to dad they are gorgeous. Cesarean babies do look better than those born the other way. Those babies look like cone head aliens, to outsiders, but normal to parents. This was a cute baby. I watched the pride swell with each picture he showed me. It is a special moment.
For a few minutes the conversation went from the tough delivery to our next card game and then back to how beautiful the baby is and finally the family came in. I don’t like to hog time from family in any situation that involves a hospital. So I decided to wait until they brought the baby in and get a look at her in person and then head out so the family could have their time. Suddenly the door opened and the nurse came wheeling in the bed with this gift from God in it. They picked her up and handed her to mom and then I got to see that moment that is worth a million moments. It is the one where dad stands next to his wife who is holding their new-born child and he tries with all he has to smile, but tears just start flowing down his face as pride and joy and reality overwhelm him.
With that memory firmly etched in my mind I went over and hugged him and told mom that everything was awesome and bid farewell to the family I had just met. I knew that I had just seen the greatest life changing event a man can go through, other than knowing God. I believe that it is hard to look at this event in life and not consider that something this awesome just doesn’t happen without the God of love that I believe in. It never gets old and never ceases to amaze me how a grown man can be turned into a speechless and weeping ball of emotions all because of a little baby. I always thank God for that experience and hope that He never stops blessing me with the chance to see His gifts of children being brought into this world.
Congratulations Dru and Wendy! Welcome to this world Coraline. (Yes, I spelled that right)

May 16, 2012

It Is Not Good For Man To be alone

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/55935853@N00/3342210932/

Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is right for him.
God knew that man did not need to be alone and I got to thinking about that. What is wrong with us being alone? Here are a few scenarios that I came up with.
1. The garden of Eden would have had a man cave. Man caves are places where men don’t worry about things that women tell us not to do. In a man cave, if you need to pass gas, you just do it. You don’t need to blame the dog or a child. Adam would have had the dog there, and because there would not be a woman, there would have been no children. But we wouldn’t need children, because instead of blaming the dog, we would be competing with the dog. Not only the dog, but without a woman around we could bring in the hippos. What man has not dreamed about having a hippo submit to our superiority, especially when it comes to passing gas. I mean, if you can get that to happen, then it would be time to bring on the king of the beasts, the lions.
2. Not only could we pass gas as we please, but we could have our own horse racing in our man cave. I struggled with what sport to watch because without women there are no other guys, so that means no football, but God did make horses and the garden was big enough for the man cave to be whatever size man wanted it to be and therefore horse racing would be in high def. live in front of us. And if the horses make a mess, no one is around to tell us to clean it up right in the middle of a race. In fact, we could go out after the race to get some munchies and clean up the mess when ever we want to.
3. The garden would have female monkey mud wrestling. Some are thinking why not have this sport in the man cave? Duh…a man needs to go out every now and then. And if we are going out, can you think of anything better to do if the aren’t any women? I know it’s not the same as what some of you are used to, but you also don’t have a wife to get mad at you for going to female mud wrestling. And instead of dollars, they would do it for a banana and because you are in the garden of Eden you have plenty of those.
4. Because men like to fix things, and women like to complain about us not fixing things, or how we broke even worse what we were supposed to be fixing, we would walk around making lists of improvements that we would get around to doing. Everything that God made was good, that’s what the Bible says. But every man knows, that with a little tweaking, we can make anything better. I am not sure if God would actually let us fix anything, so a list would be the next best thing. Making “to do” lists is as good as fixing anything. Men feel like we have accomplished a lot when we have a big list of things to do. Here is a list of things to do in the garden, without woman.
Pull up all those flowers and plant trees that have vines hanging from them. They look more manly and we can later swing from them. But we would need to dig a big hole and fill it with water around some of the trees so we could jump off the vines into the water.
Next we would need to get rid of all those cats. Men just don’t need them. After all, the mice God created were good, so no need for cats.
Then someone has to figure out how the duck-billed platypus works. So we would start taking it apart as soon as we build a table and some shelves to put the left over parts on in case we need them for a later project.
Finally, we would get back to work on the man cave, because we are going to need a wall to put a TV on when they get invented. You know that without a woman, a man must have a TV, with remote.
Now you know why it is not good for man to be alone. Thanks God, for that woman you gave us.

May 10, 2012

Mother’s Day

by pastortimfowler

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcusandsue/6989520159/

In case I get busy tomorrow, I wanted to be sure and get in my Mother’s Day blog. If there was ever group that deserves a holiday, it is this one. Mothers are awesome. There are two women in my life who have shown me just how awesome they are, my mother and my wife. My wife tries to tell me what to do like my mother did, but I never listened to her either, so get over it, dear.
My mom had some faults, but I know that without her I would not have been born. As much as my dad wanted me, he was not able to get pregnant and therefore married my mother to have me. Her first attempt to have me was a failure. Not a total failure, because it produced my sister. But my dad really waned me, so they tried again, and you know what they say, the second time is the charm.
When I was born they liked me so much that they tried to have another me, but it too ended in something not quite me, my brother. Don’t get me wrong, they liked them, but they were not me. I was my parents favorite first-born son.
My mom raised me special from the beginning. I did not get the first born’s hand me downs. I was the first of my siblings to learn to pee standing up. My sister claims that she could have done it first, but I guess it wasn’t that important to her until I started doing it. My mom dressed me in blue before the others and she also gave me the most masculine name of the first two of her children.
Mom cooked my favorite meals quite often. Chicken, burgers, and bacon covered anything were the top of the list. Often she would cook other stuff for the other children, but I know that she was only trying to not play favorites. It is hard for a mother to show favoritism when she has more than 1 child even though I believe she wanted to. Part of the reason that I think I was her favorite child is because she was my favorite mom as I was growing up.
My mom went to heaven several years ago. I believe she is there with no more pain from the cancer that took her life. I believe that she no longer worries about me and those other two she birthed. I believe she is trying hard not to play favorites when she tells God how thankful she is for having us, but I know that when no one else is around, she tells God how special I am.
My wife is the other mom that is special to me. I believe that it is something genetic that I inherited from my dad, but I too could not get pregnant. So I had to find someone who could. I wanted to have a child just like me because I was such a joy to my mom. Sadly I got stuck with those kids that we had to raise. They are okay, but they are not me. My wife, their mom, says that they are just like me, but we all know that would be too good to be true. I think that she loved me so much that she wanted more of me and sees those traits that make our children better. You can’t blame her for that.
My wife is a great mom. She made the children eat the same food I liked and rarely cooked them anything else. She dressed them like me often and even made our oldest, my daughter, learn to pee standing up so that she could be more like me. This is still very troubling to my daughter and her family now. My wife made all of our children promise to always say they love me more and taught them to be Gamecock fans. She never worried about how she was perceived, only how they perceived me.
In all the years that we have been married, she has treated me like she was my mother. She said that if she didn’t have any children that I would be her favorite child and believes that I will never grow up. Of course I am extremely mature for my age and this is just her desire to never stop being a mom. She cooks for me, cleans my room, makes sure I have everything I need to watch every football game the Gamecocks play, and always makes sure to leave to toilet seat up, because after all, I learned to pee standing up.
Happy Mother’s day to my two favorite moms and to all mothers out there. Sure, you don’t have children like me, but not everyone can be so blessed. Enjoy the kids you have and you can always teach them to be like me by continuing to read my blogs and teach them my ways. My two favorite moms did it with their kids, and you can too.

April 17, 2012

Children Deserve Better

by pastortimfowler

Parents today have a hard time raising children. They can’t do what they want to do without fear of government intervention. Schools can’t do what they need to do because of fears of lawsuits and lose of funding, and that only leaves grandparents as the source of hope, and we can’t keep the kids long enough to straighten them out.
I heard on the news today about a 6-year-old girl who was handcuffed by the police because she was pitching a fit at school. She was throwing things in the office and turning over bookcases. When I did that as a kid, no one called the police. The principal grabbed me and busted my butt with a paddle and then called my dad who took me home and busted my butt with a belt. Six year olds don’t need the police called on them, they need what I got if they act out like that.
As I watched the news story about this event, of course they had an expert come on and make excuses for the kid. She said the girl probably had ADHD or PBDO, or some pshyco-babble disorder that needed to be understood and the schools needed to be better equipped to handle this. So we need psychologists and a police station in the elementary school? I think that if we better equip principles with wooden paddles we could solve a couple of problems. First, six-year olds would think twice about showing off like that because, and I speak with experience, paddles hurt, and kids would start wearing their pants up around their waist to provide a little protection from when they misbehaved.
When I heard that the police were called to handle this problem, I immediately thought that it would have been a good day to be a bank robber in that town. While our police force was handling the important job of raising children, bank robbers could be doing their thing with less of a chance of getting caught. I can only imagine when that police officer was growing up he was thinking about becoming a cop so that he could protect the world against six-year-old girls in elementary school. I would love to know when they would schedule that training at the police academy. Do they put it before or after what to do if a bank robber pulls a gun on you?
Children do not need to be abused. But they also don’t need to be handcuffed. Most of them do not need a psychologist either, unless this is repeated over and over again. They may just need a paddle across butt and the promise of another one if they do it again. Too many parents are trying to be anything but a parent to their children and too many schools are trying too hard not to be a place where kids get their little feelings hurt. Adults have a responsibility to teach children that there are authority figures in the world that deserve our respect. Children need to know that bad behavior has serious consequences from mom and dad or the principal. They need to know that they do have to mind and they do have to follow rules. If they don’t learn it as a six-year-old, they won’t learn it as an adult. It is kids who don’t learn this early in life that end up needing to be in handcuffs as adults. But they do not need to be handcuffed as a six-year-old who is just pitching a temper tantrum.
Our children deserve better.

April 11, 2012

What Does That Word Mean?

by pastortimfowler

I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to people using words that don’t mean what they think it does or perhaps they have no clue what they mean but they are trying to sound smart. I had a professor one time use the word flabbergasted as he was trying to tell us how good it would feel to be healed completely after you met Jesus. I thought the word meant something negative but it was in fact proper use of it because it means to be overcome with astonishment.
There are lots of words that people use because they hear them on TV or in a song or in a conversation. The word surreal is one that I hear a lot and I don’t think it is always used properly. I hear it in about every interview on the news when something happens that people think is special. It may be close, but not what the intent of the word is supposed to be. I have a friend who got in the habit of using the word phenomenal. Everything that was better than normal was phenomenal, but if that was so, then nothing would really be phenomenal.
Lately there is a word used by our president that bothers me. It is not a hard word, but I don’t think he is using it correctly; fair. The word fair means free from bias and so how can you tax someone more than others for any reason and call it fair? Usually it is used when talking about the rich not paying their fair share. But how can anything be fair if there is bias based on income? What about those of us who don’t have minor children? We pay more in taxes than someone who make the same wages who has minor children. Is that fair? And my biggest question of all is who elected anyone for the purpose of telling me how much of my money I need to give them to spend on fairness?
If you want to be fair, perhaps we should use a standard percentage for everyone to pay no matter how much they earn. 20%, and that is not the amount I am suggesting, would be the same percentage for someone who make $10,000 per year or $10,000,000 per year. That would be fair. And forget about deductions for children or houses or anything else, just pay your percentage and it will be fair.
There are very few things in this world that are fair. I find fairness in the Bible. God says that all believers should give 10% of their income. No matter if that is a penny or millions of dollars, 10% is the standard and it is fair. It teaches that everyone is a sinner in need of forgiveness. Everyone will have to either die for their sins or accept Jesus’ death for their sins. That is fair. Anyone can be forgiven, no matter the sin or amount of sins and the fair thing that God requires is that everyone ask to be forgiven believing that Jesus died for our sins. God has no favorites and it is not His will that even one soul perish, but that all should come to know His great love and forgiveness. That is surreal. That is flabbergasting. It is phenomenal. It is fair.

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.

December 19, 2011

Christmas meal

by pastortimfowler

Yesterday was our church’s annual Christmas meal and this has become one of my favorite things about our church. We take all the chairs that normally form a semi-circle seating pattern for worship and set up tables and chairs for a family style eating extravaganza. Extravaganza is one of my favorite, but least used words in my vocabulary. The men and women of the church cook turkey and ham and all the favorite holiday type foods that you can imagine and after a brief, yet wonderful sermon, we eat and laugh and hang out until most of the food is gone. Then those who are able, load people into wheelbarrows and take them out back to sleep it off.
Our church is my family. No, I am not dissing my wife and kids, but this is a special relationship that we all share and it is truly family. We share food, share laughter and share tears. No one is left alone and everyone does their part of making it all work. Like in most families, there is always the grumpy person and the weird aunt or uncle that everyone tries not to act like we are avoiding, but other than that we can’t get enough of this special fellowship.
God wants His people to have a closeness. We are told that people will know that we are His because of how we love each other. I don’t think that there would be much doubt of that if you were to have been there yesterday. And, I can proudly say that most anytime that you visit, you will find the same love among the people. None of us are “holier than thou” and many of us are as “messed up as thou” and that makes it easy to find common ground.
As in most churches, there are always a handful who work hard to manage the chaos and organize the efforts. Those who did it this time are amazing in how well it was done and the love at which they used to bring us all together. It was not just a list of things to do but an effort to think of how people’s needs would be met. I believe the biblical term would be ministry, which means serving, which Jesus says makes you great, and I can only say that there were some great people organizing this whole thing.
The day did not end when the meal was over. Lots of folks stayed to help with the clean up. After that, many of the guys and youth stayed to watch football as many of the moms took the younger kids to see Santa. They are the brave souls in the crowd.
Later that night our youth had their Christmas party and another group of servants showed their greatness to make that happen. With nearly twenty youth and a handful of adults, the music was loud, the games were wild and the family was happy. I was the smartest of all; I went home after welcoming them and opening the party in prayer.
Christmas is a special time and can be difficult to those who don’t have family. Some people are alone because they have moved, other because of hardship. Some have been shunned by family and friends and others have condemned themselves because of past experiences. My plea is that you not allow the past to ruin the future. God can and will forgive you for whatever the past holds. God will provide a place and people for you to celebrate if you chose to seek it. I would like to invite you to be a part of my family and our celebration of God’s great love. We don’t judge, we don’t condemn, we don’t exclude. We are The Body, A Church for Anybody, and especially you.
Merry Christmas!

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