Posts tagged ‘emotions’

September 10, 2012

Opps…Emotions Stink

by pastortimfowler

stress

I feel like I owe an explanation for my sermon yesterday, for those who attend my church. If you don’t, then you won’t have a clue about why I am writing this until you read it. Everyone can have “one of those days”, including the pastor. Sundays are supposed to be wonderful events and a time to hear from God, not stress out. Except for pastors, and I think to some degree we all stress out over Sundays. It is our pinnacle moment for the church and we want everything to be perfect. It rarely works that way, so we get use to it. But then there are those days when one thing leads to another and before you know it, you are about to explode.
Here is my explanation and/or excuse. Friday night I took my 7-year-old grandson camping at the beach with his Cub Scout troop. It was a 3 and a half hour drive there and a 4 and a half hour drive back; I will explain later. I stress over being around little kids. I want to tolerate them but I have to really try. We had a good time, but sleeping in a tent on the ground does not help my back, which hurts all the time, and lately has been in one of those more painful stages. Saturday, I went to the beach to body surf with the kid. Body surfing is not good for your back either. But we had a blast. Then we went down the water slide which is not good for the back, and I found out that if you get to spinning too much, you can rip you toenail off. I didn’t understand that either, but it happened. We rode bikes for hours and then packed up and started home.
About 40 minutes into my drive it started raining. I know that God said that He would never flood the world again, but I think He was showing me how hard it had to rain to accomplish this.
7-year-old boys ask a lot of questions when it is raining that hard. Driving does not help my back and stress about heavy rain and a 7-year-old asking endless questions don’t help either. By the time we got home, the normal 3 and a half hour drive was 4 and a half hours. After unpacking, and hot shower, and a few moments of sitting around updating the wife, I went to bed.
Sunday morning I woke up stiff and hurting. That is the beginning of a rough day. I got to church and most of the first few people who I saw complained about something going wrong. I usually try to hide in my office and study for my sermon, but everyone knows where to find me and did. For some reason, everything that I wanted to say in this sermon was being pushed aside and i was not sure with what I was going to say. That is stressful.
There were some people didn’t show up to do their jobs, those who were filling in didn’t want to do it and let me know, and it seemed as if every person I talked to had a complaint or didn’t want to hear what I had to say. I still did not know what I was going to talk about until the last song was played and it was time for me to give my message.
I believe that I listen to God about what I preach. Sure, I like to joke and inject a few personal things to lighten the mood, but for the most part I feel as if I am saying what God want me to say. Of all morning for Him to want me to say some tough stuff, I felt like it was then. Sure, you could say I was not in a great mood and that affected what I spoke about. But after 20 years of doing this, you learn to put the petty stuff aside. I just had to say some tough stuff this time.
My sermon was about how God expects His people to do more than come to church on Sunday. Especially if you consider yourself to be a mature Christian. We are in a spiritual battle that is raging 24/7 and most Christians want to play weekend warrior. We want to be entertained and told stuff that feels good and that is not what the Bible does for us. It is very convicting and very critical of God’s people who should know better than to get complacent. So I said what I said.
It must have been close to what God wanted said. Two people became Christians Sunday morning. Several came to me afterwards and said that they knew I was stressed, but what I said impacted them in a positive way. WHEW!
That being said, I never want people to think that I don’t care and that I am self-centered. I do love me, but I love you guys too. I want people to be blessed by being a Christian. That is God’s intent. But in order to receive the blessings, we need to fight that good fight. It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it.
So I want to say that I am really sorry for anybody who I may have snapped at or made feel like I was being a jerk. If you really want to know what that feels like, ask my poor wife who sees the worst side of me more than anyone. She is a saint, and I appreciate her patience with me more than she will know. But I believe that she will tell you that I try my best to say the truth, say it with love, and say only what God wants said during my sermons.
I love my church, and I love the people who go there. I want them to unashamed of the God they serve and the God who gives unconditional love and forgiveness. Sometimes tough things need to be said. Where I fail is saying them with the proper temperance and for that I can only say, sorry.

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September 6, 2012

Force Fed God

by pastortimfowler

God is our...

Yesterday I saw on the news the vote to allow God to be part of the DNC platform again. Somehow the brilliant move to eliminate God from the platform was actually made and they had to vote on bringing Him back. Many think it was an oversight and never meant to have been such a big deal. If it was on purpose, I personally don’t understand why they would not want God there. He is usually very quiet and for the most part just observes such events. When you watch the vote that took place it was not convincing that the majority wanted God back on the platform. Either way, I believe He was being forced on those who did not want Him there to begin with. But there is no way to have a convention without God, like it or not.
Politics is a strange thing. You are either very passionate about your political views or you are barely aware of these sort of things. Those who are very passionate take great offense to anyone who would criticize their point of view and those who are not involved act as if they have never heard of the election system, other than the fact that we vote for who we would like to have as our leaders. I tend to be more of the type that could care less about most things that make the news and only focus on a couple of major issues. I don’t voice my politics to loudly, but don’t hide how I feel when asked.
God is a major factor in how I lean politically. But at the same time, I am not persuaded by just talk about God. I like to see the actions and most importantly, does what a politician say match up to what the Bible says. This is only applicable for moral issues. There are many issues that I have to go with my gut on and I always remember that there is no way a politician can keep his word on everything nor can he remember everything he has every said. So I don’t go for the gotcha moments that news programs like to run.
I do not believe that anyone who runs for public office wants to kill any people in our society. When I see images of people rolling little old ladies off cliffs, I laugh and think about how stupid some people must be to expect anyone to believe such garbage. I also don’t believe that politicians who say they will never raise taxes actually believe that we, the people, believe that is true. Most ads ran during a political campaign are designed to shock and play on the emotions of people. I believe that both political parties know that if they just ran ads with facts and figures that the people would probably fall asleep during election cycles. Politics have become big business for big egos.
I have good friends who are Democrats and good friend who are Republicans. Some are very involved in the process and others are casual observers. Neither are bad people, even the ones whom I totally disagree with politically. Some of them are very vocal about their affiliation to a particular party while others probably don’t even care enough to vote. But here is a fact.Your political party affiliation does not make you a Christian nor does it make you a good or bad Christian. It only makes you a Democrat or a Republican. All governments and their leaders are a result of a sovereign God allowing that leader to rule over His people. Christians are to respect whoever that is and follow the laws of the land. We are free to voice our opinions, but never free to condemn solely because we disagree with their policies. We must follow the laws of the land and use the proper means available to peacefully change the things that we don’t like.
We can not force God on people, nor do we have to. God has made Himself known through the wonder of His creation. He has set things in order according to His will and not ours. He will be at the DNC with or without a vote. He will be with the Republican nominees whether they want Him there or not. God is not elected by man and will never be dethroned by any vote or popular opinion or political affiliation. God is God because He always has been God and always will be. No need to force feed Him to anyone. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess. Not believing will not stop you from meeting Him. God is God alone.