Posts tagged ‘expectations’

October 17, 2012

Undecided

by pastortimfowler

Voting

During this and most of the past few election cycles, the focus has been on the ever-present undecided voter. The debate last night was of the town hall-style debate in which the questions were posed by 80 undecided voters. Both candidates tried their best to say things that would get them to make up their minds and vote for them. I am not convinced that we need to place the future of our country on people who do not have enough information by now to make up their minds who they will vote for.
I know that some of you want to lecture me on the importance of every vote while others want to tell me how in the presidential campaign, the individual vote is worthless due to the electoral college system. Please, save it for someone who is undecided. I know who and how and when and where I will vote and made my mind up a long time ago. I also understand how this system works and understand that there is something far more important than your vote to some people and that is called getting the attention.
Right now pollsters want to talk to and hear what the undecided voter is saying. If they call me and tell me they are taking a poll, I doubt that they will care for my opinion if I tell them that I have made up my mind. I also doubt that they will ask me to come to a debate and ask questions.
I did not find any question asked last night that most of us who have made up our minds did not already know the answer that we believe. I also heard nothing that made me want to change my mind. What I wanted to do was change the channel. When asked a question, each candidate carefully worded things to be as much in the middle or as far from controversy as possible. That makes them followers, not leaders. Dear Mr. and Ms. undecided, real leaders make decisions based on convictions, not potential votes. That means that I will not agree with everything, no matter what political party you are affiliated with. Make up your mind what you believe and follow the person that you believe will lead in that direction. If after four years they have been found to be a liar or unable to meet your expectations, vote them out. That is what decided voters do.
Undecided votes need to learn how to make up their minds. But if you can’t, please stay out of the voting booths with all those emotions running through your veins. Making last-minute decisions on things that are important is not good. If you are undecided about getting married just a few days before the wedding, it is not a good thing to go through with it. If you are undecided a few days before closing on a house it is not a good thing to go through with it. If you are undecided about getting off on the next exit of the interstate, don’t do it at the last second, it could cause a wreck.
Here is my advice to the undecided voter. Take this year off from voting. Pay attention to things over the next few years and see if you like the way things are going. If not, then you may want to vote for someone else. If you do, then vote for the person who is already there. Take the time to form some core beliefs in your own life and not what you hear on the news or from the internet. Decide if life is important and when it begins or if you like the amount of taxes you are paying or if you think that person who wants your vote can make tough decisions based on facts or popularity polls. Here is another idea. Keep track of what these guys are saying now and if they lie this time, they will probably lie next time. Voting is an important process that should be taken seriously, not taken as an opportunity to get attention and have people sway you at the last-minute.
Our political system is great in that it always gives us choices. It has left and right, conservative and liberal, and most importantly it has a history to follow. Get informed and stay involved and make up your mind. The Bible has a great verse about people who are undecided about things. Ephesians 4:14Then we will no longer be little children, tossed and carried about by all kinds of teachings that change like the wind. We will no longer be influenced by people who use cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray.
It is okay to believe in something. But like the old saying says, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

January 5, 2012

Fleece

by pastortimfowler

In the Bible there is a story of a man named Gideon who was told by God to do something that he did not think was possible unless it truly was of God and Gideon wanted to be sure of it. So in order to be sure that he had heard from God correctly, he asked God to do something that only him and God knew and something that only God could accomplish as asked. He took a piece of wool, or a fleece, and set it out in the open field and told God that the next morning he wanted to see dew everywhere except on the fleece and then the next night, after God did this, he asked God to do just the opposite. God did what He was asked to do and Gideon knew that God was in fact the one who prompted him to do this God sized task. You can read the account in the book of Judges chapter 6 if you want to get the whole story.
I have asked God for something like this fleece deal in trying to make a couple of tough decisions. I feel weird even saying it, but I can’t wait to see it happen. As I wrote yesterday, there have been some things that challenged me as I have been reading the Bible and a book that a friend gave me. The timing of these two things and my feelings as well as some conversations that I have had with my wife over the last several months have caused me to be quite agitated. Not in a bad way, but in a way that I believe that God is wanting me to do some things that are out of my comfort zone in a major way.
I do not recommend the fleece method of clarifying what God is asking you to do. Gideon was not a weak man of faith, but rather his task that God gave him to do was beyond Gideon’s authority and comfort level to do on his own and he wanted no doubt that it was God telling him what to do. I believe that most of what we need to do for God is written plainly in the Bible and we are not doing them, so why would God ask us to go beyond expectations and why would we need to clarify what is plainly written for us.
No, I am not the perfect person at following everything that God says. I wish I was, but I am not. I do try to live a life of example to the best of my ability. But when it comes to everyday life, God is very clear on how we should live and what we should do. There is not much to fleece God about. And if we ask Him to show us a sign for something so very obvious, I doubt that He will waste His time showing us His miracles when we are not showing Him our faith.
Part of this experience of mine is a gut check of what I should be doing daily. Reading and studying the Bible, prayer for others, sharing my faith, and so on, are being checked and rechecked to be sure that I am not missing the obvious. In fact I would suggest this to every Christian to do on a regular basis. I get this feeling that one of the reasons that the church of today is not seeing the miracle-working power of God as we read about in the Bible is because we have boxed up God into our own little package of religion. If the church were to begin following the commands of Jesus in all that we do, I believe that some things that we consider miraculous today would become routine then.
No, I am not getting ready to play “super Christian” and start freaking everybody out, but I am taking an inventory of what I do and whether or not it is in line with what I preach and read from the Bible. It is not a New Year’s resolution, it just has the timing to be suspiciously like one. But I am tired of hearing that God did this or God did that and everything that happened could have happened even if God did not exist. I want people to see the God of the Bible in the heart of His servant and in the midst of His church. We don’t need a fleece for this, we need to trust God in our actions not just our words.
As far as my “fleece”, I will be just as satisfied if the answer from God is not in line with what I ask of Him, as long as it is in line with what He asks of us.