Posts tagged ‘fear’

August 10, 2012

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

by pastortimfowler

Should I stay or should I go?

I love, absolutely love, being a pastor. I get to see people grow and change and learn to be servants. I get to share God’s love with people and see the fruits of my labor. I have been blessed to have a church full of people who are passionate about what has happened to them and are sharing it with others. Even when I think that I want to pull my hair out, and for those who know me, that means things are really stressful and weird, I still love what I do.
This past few weeks has been both stressful and weird. On top of funerals, surgeries, and the other everyday stuff a pastor can deal with, I have been dealing with getting use to having an international student in my house. He is a great kid, so far, and I will get used to having a teenager in my house again, I hope, but this is quite an adjustment for me. I am a creature of habit and don’t mind having a routine that rarely changes. When it does, I have to think that God is trying to teach me something, or, He has decided to show me a sick sense of humor.
In the last couple of weeks I have had a few people tell me the they think that God wants them to leave our church. Before some of you panic, this is not uncommon. I think about leaving at least three of four times a week, and that is in a good week. The reason people tell me that God may want them to leave our church is because they feel like they are not getting along with someone or that things are changing and they don’t like it. I want to address those two reasons for a minute.
First, if there are people who you are not getting along with, consider that God may want you to change something about you, like patience, instead of changing churches, after all, love is patient. Sure I know that most of you are perfect and have no need for change in your own lives, but there are a few who need to learn that God often puts us around people who are different to get us to love those who we don’t like. Luke 6:27, But I tell everyone who is listening: Love your enemies. Be kind to those who hate you. If you are attending a church in hopes of liking everyone you are going to be disappointed. Our command is to love people, not like them. Being the new kid on the block only lasts for a while and then reality sets in. You will find people who disagree and maybe even disappoint you. Those are the ones who challenge you to be more like Jesus, who by the way, does not like everything we do either, yet still loves us. We are not put into the church to be liked or to like everyone. We are put here to serve God and bring Him glory. I am sure glad Jesus did not walk away when He found out someone did not like Him.
Second, is the change thing. Change is always going to make some people uncomfortable. But think about this; if nothing ever changes in church, people are not getting to know Jesus. I would like to offer this suggestion. Rather than getting upset about change, get upset about the status quo. Get upset when you do the same thing week in and week out and never get comfortable with the way things are. The Pharisees got upset because Jesus changed the way they had always done things. Those were the religious guys and the ones who the church way to often resembles. Yet it was their lack of change that had Jesus nailed to the cross. I am very glad that Jesus changed things or I would still be headed to hell. Change is a good thing. Perhaps instead of leaving to find a church that stays the same, you should look and see if it is you that needs to change. I know that I have to evaluate how to change on a daily basis.
Changing the church you attend is often needed. I am not so naive as to think that everyone should stay in the same place all the time. I have changed churches a few times myself. I did know that there was a specific purpose for my change and that it was God that wanted me to go elsewhere and not my own pride or selfishness. But to change churches for the two reasons above is often just that, prideful and selfish. Solving problems instead of running from them helps us to grow and to understand the heart of God better.
If you need to go, I give you my blessing. You will know it is God when you have complete peace about it and can tell anyone who asks the reason without fear or confusion. Fear and confusion are not from God. The very best servants of God, like Paul and Barnabas, left churches to serve elsewhere. Sometimes the best are needed somewhere else to help others grow. That is part of God’s plan and design and I am all for that.
Meanwhile, don’t let Satan cause you to leave where God is working, and He is working at our church. People are coming to know Jesus as Savior every week and others are growing and learning to serve others to help them be more like Christ. Satan is a liar and a punk. He loves complacent churches where nothing ever changes and people rarely get saved. He loves it when we get focused on ourselves and forget that we should be helping others. Jesus said that in this world we would have trouble. He said that people would dislike us and that we should never grow weary of doing what is right. Doing what is right is not always easy. Doing what is wrong often is. Think about it.

April 27, 2012

Inferiority Holds You Captive?

by pastortimfowler

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/rubyblossom/4299889293/

This was a subject given the other day when I asked for blog ideas. It is difficult to keep this short and yet get the point across but I will try.
I am not sure if this is all bad. One of the qualities of a person who believes that they are inferior is that they are usually humble. Humility is a wonderful Christian asset and often is very hard for people who always feel confident. But I do think that there are some things that the Bible says about this and maybe this will shed a little light.
Let’s look at Moses. When He met God through the burning bush, he was told that he would be the one to deliver God’s message to Pharaoh. Moses immediately responded that he could not do it because he wasn’t good enough due to poor speech, afraid people would think he was a liar, and overall just afraid. If anyone in the Bible had an inferiority complex it was Moses. Yet he turned out to be one of the most influential people in history.
The Bible says that we were not given the spirit of fear, but of peace, love,and a sound mind. A sound mind, (and this is not saying if you feel this way that you are crazy), is the ability to think clearly because God gives us wisdom and we have faith in God. Moses was not using a sound mind when he argued with God that he could not do what God asked him to do. But God is patient and continued to overcome Moses inferior objections. Ultimately Moses had the faith to not only go to Pharaoh, but to lead his people for 40 years with God’s guidance.
The only person that the Christian is inferior too is God. We must remember, with humility, that a we are children of the King of Kings, the Lord of all creation, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
The captivity of a feeling of inferiority is only a tool of Satan who would have us do anything other than listen to God. Jesus said, “With God, all things are possible.” Satan would say, “You can’t do what God expects of you. You are just not good enough.” Satan wants us to believe that we aren’t good enough and that God can’t or won’t use us.
We are not deserving of salvation and we can’t be good enough. We are saved because of God’s mercy and love for us. After salvation, we are co laborers with God to build His church. He equips us and gives us everything we need to be successful. We need humility to keep us from thinking that we are better than anyone else just because we are Christians, but never need to feel inferior, because Jesus said that all power and authority was given to Him and He is the one who empowers us.
We are no longer people in bondage, no matter who we are or what our personal hang ups are.
John 8:36So if the Son sets you free, you will be absolutely free.

December 27, 2011

I Don’t Know When

by pastortimfowler

There are only a few days left in the year. Really?!?! 2011 is almost over? Time flies when you are having fun. I just hope that this isn’t our last days, because I have already paid for my cruise in January. What am I talking about? The Mayan calendar that ends in 2011. Oh wait; never mind. I was just told that we have until December 2012 before it all ends. The good news is that I won’t have to do any Christmas shopping for next year and I get to take my cruise if this is true.
What if we only had a few days left? What would it be like?
Imagine for a moment that we were told beyond a shadow of a doubt that the world would end in a few days. Do you think it would be a fun place to finish out your last days? Or do you think it would be pure chaos? I would put my money on the chaos. It would be nice to think that brotherly love would break out and we would all gather around to sing and hug for the remainder of our lives, but something tells me that it would be a dangerous and violent place with rape and theft and fear for those who are weak.
The Bible tells us that in the last days, there will be just that type of situation. Violence and fear, not peace and love. Left to ourselves, humanity will self destruct and there is not much that we can do about it. Laws can only restrain lawlessness as long as there is someone to enforce the laws with consequences that compel one to think twice before committing such an act. It is also God that puts a sense of right and wrong in our hearts and a fear of knowing that one day we will be judged. It is God that restrains evil and allows for order in our world and even with Him in control that potential for evil in humans is barely kept in check.
The difference between the last days of the world without God and the last days of the world with God are pretty simple. Without God, there is no hope and it all ends in destruction. With God, there is hope and He promises a new life, new heaven and new earth. God is the God of hope. He is the God of salvation. He is life and love and He offers this freely to all who ask.
The Bible tells us that no man knows the hour or the day of the end of the world as we know it. Only God. But He promises to those who know Him and His salvation that we will not face His wrath, but be saved. I do believe that it is a good thing that we don’t know the hour or the day. Many religious “know-it-alls” have tried to say that they know the end and predict the date, but they are fools. God does not want us to know the time of the end because He wants us focused on life. He wants us loving people and helping those in need and sharing the good news that He saves and He loves. 2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self-control.
I don’t know when it all will end but I do know Jesus, so…Bring on 2012!!!

July 6, 2011

Casey Anthony Trial

by pastortimfowler

I for one, am thankful for the end of the Casey Anthony trial. I am saddened by the fact that a small child was killed, no matter who did it or how it happened. But the reality of it all is that this happens all the time and we don’t get that upset. Many children are killed everyday out of convenience for the mother’s lifestyle and some even fight for that right to kill. Its called abortion. I think a child is a child no matter how young. One thing that I am certain of is that God will let no sin go unpunished and by the same means He can forgive any sin if asked. But this is not a blog on abortion.
You know it wont be long before something else overtakes the world’s news outlets. Since we have a 24 hour news media, they constantly bombard us with “news” that is not really news at all. It is speculation and opinion. America has become addicted to having people tell us what to think and how to think and who to believe or like. We have lost our ability to think for ourselves. I get so disgusted with how gullible people are and how they form opinions that effect their whole life solely based on what the hear and see on TV or the internet.
When I was in elementary school, the science books taught that a new ice age was coming. I think I missed it during my experimental years of drugs and alcohol. We were also told that if the Soviet Union ever bombed us with a nuclear weapon that we should duck and cover. No one in the media ever questioned either of these and as a child I kept thinking about how stupid these two things were. And ice age? It rarely ever snowed then and because I live in beautiful South Carolina, home of the Gamecocks!, (sorry for the shameless plug) it still doesn’t snow. I asked my teacher about it and she told me that it was a limited ice age and only the colder areas of earth would experience it. Duh.
I asked about the nuclear bomb thing and how radiation worked. The teacher told me that we should be more concerned with things falling on our heads than the radiation. I asked her if it was okay to microwave a cat and she said no it would kill it. I would have never really done that, but I did drop a marble on a cat’s head and it had little effect.
So now we know that we are killing the planet with CO2 emissions. We know that electric cars are the answer. I guess there is no CO2 emitted from the power plants that will have to work extra hard to produce more electricity as we all plug-in our cars. I really love the idea that our power grid can even handle the extra use. We already have brown outs and black outs in the summer due to increase usage and now we all need to plug-in cars? Here is a suggestion; why don’t we all use sails on our cars and skip the windmills and batteries?
We are told that one day the financial situation in Greece is so bad that the whole world’s economy will fail so the stock market dives 150 points. The next day, it isn’t that bad and it rises 200 points. We are told that if we would spend a few trillion dollars that the economy of the US won’t get worse, it does get worse, so we are told we need to spend another trillion or so. At the same time families in the US are told to tighten their belts and pinch pennies. We invest in Brazil to drill for oil and stop drilling in our country because it is a global disaster we need to avert. I forgot that Brazil is not part of our globe and I think it sucks having to pay $15 to fill a motorcycle.
We live in the greatest country on earth. We can solve any problem put before that we put our minds to. The problem is that most Americans have stopped thinking for themselves. Even more, we have stopped letting the Bible be our source of truth and let what we believe come from a bunch of media hype.

May 18, 2011

children’s stories

by pastortimfowler

Today I was reading the Bible story of David and Goliath. I remember my MeMa reading it to me as a little kid. She was a great story-teller because she would use different voices for each character. I use to sit and picture myself as David, walking toward the giant and picture my brother as the giant, and hurling the rock into his head. Of course after I did that I would run away, because mom and dad threatened to whip me if I ever through rocks at my brother again. But that is not the point of this.
Everyone was scared of the giant. Goliath was about 9 feet tall and according to the story, a great warrior. I use to go to wrestling as a kid and I remember Andre the Giant who was 7’4″ and about 350 lbs. and that was huge, but this guy was even bigger. And although wrestling was real back then, not like today, Goliath was not a wrestler, he was a killer. The whole Israeli army was afraid of this one guy. Israel had a pretty good army of trained men who had fought many battles, but they were all scared of this one guy.
So David, who was taking his brothers some food, heard what was happening, and got upset that the Israeli army was scared. David asked, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine?” I love that line. It would make a great line in a movie. David told every that he would go kill the giant and they all said that he was crazy. One said that he needed to go home because he was just a boy. David was probably a teen age boy, but as a shepherd, he had seen his share of danger.
David told the guys, “look, I protect my sheep from lions and bears and wolves and have killed them, I will kill this giant. David spoke as if he were cocky, but he was not. He was confident, not in his self, but in God. He told the army, “God will deliver this giant to me and the then everyone will see how awesome our God is.
So David takes a few rocks, his sling, and God with him to meet the giant. The giant laughed at him because he was young, had no armor, and no real weapon that he could see. Goliath, of course could not see David’s protector, God and David proceeded to kill the giant and in effect, defeat the whole Philistine army.
Fast forward to today. Other than Andre, we have very few physical giants to fight. But we have a bunch of spiritual ones. And the people of God are acting much like His army did back then. Looking at the enemy and not looking at God.
One thing that I have learned through years of ministry is that when I forget who God is, everything else looks worse. Problems look insurmountable, those who want to defeat me look bigger than life, and even life itself seems to fight like a giant who would have my head. So with God nowhere around, we turn to friends who aren’t looking to God and they see the giants in our life and tell us about the giants in their lives and together we are worthless for anything but fear.
But the Bible say that God’s people have not been given the spirit of fear, and so we need to turn our focus to God. Fear is the enemy’s way of getting us out of the battle. Fear causes us to surrender and never even try to fight. Fear usually comes with a reputation that is bigger than the even the problem.
But I serve a God that not only has a bigger reputation for defeating all enemies, but HE IS BIGGER than all enemies. We have been told that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. We have been told the even the enemy of death has been defeated. we still have a few battles to wage, but the giant is dead.
It is time for God’s people to live victoriously. It is time to look our problems over and ask, “who is this uncircumcised Philistine?” I serve the God of life and hope and power and strength. Let’s defeat our enemies so that the whole world knows who our God is.
Maybe its time to remember some old children’s stories.

March 14, 2011

Melt Down

by pastortimfowler

It is almost impossible to turn on the news and not hear about the continuing struggles of the people of Japan. The pictures are horrifying and the task of cleaning up has to be overwhelming to those involved. On top of everything else that they are going through there is now a probable melt down of a nuclear reactor. This is a worst case scenario gone wild.
There is a tremendous fear of nuclear power because of this potential. But in reality, a place where few live and many never visit, the risks have been proven to be worth it for the 30 plus years that we have been using nuclear power as a producer of electricity. There have been very few incidents that have been of any real threat and it took an 8.9 earthquake and a 35 foot tsunami to cause the problem that exists right now.
So I am watching the news and I hear that the US government is wanting to put a moratorium on building anymore nuclear pants here in the US. One official gave the time frame of 30 years before we would be able to build one again. Couple that with the fact that we stopped all drilling for oil in the US due to one disaster in the gulf and I am remembering the words of candidate Obama who said that under his energy plan the cost of energy would necessarily skyrocket.
I am sorry but our economy is horrible, people can’t find jobs, it cost me nearly $70 to fill my truck the other day and some can’t afford to drive around to look for a job now. Add to that the fact that electricity bills were going up before the Japan incident and now they will rise even more now, and we aren’t even going to be able to afford to plug-in our electric cars that only allow us to drive up to 150 miles on a charge and take almost 8 hours to recharge.
Imagine if Thomas Edison was operating under the same conditions when he was building the light bulb and for every failure he had he was told to stop working on the project for 30 years. We would all still be in the dark. What if after the first automobile accident we decided to wait 30 years to build cars? We would still be riding horses. What if after every time your child wrecked on their bicycle we made them not ride again or if they missed a math problem we told them not to try anymore?
America is great because we looked failure in the eye and said “you will not keep us from achieving greatness.” Failure and accidents and even death are part of the risks of freedom and America. The biggest melt down that I worry about is the melt down of the American way of life that brought us through oppression, depression, and wars.
I thank God that after Jesus was wrongly convicted and crucified that his believers did not take the stance of politicians today. They did not decide that it was best to wait 30 years and study the cost and how and why a life was lost for the salvation of humanity. Even at the loss of many of their own lives they encouraged the preaching of the Gospel, no matter the risk or cost because the greater good justifies the sacrifice that was made.
Let’s stop having a melt down of sound thinking and put America on the path of greatness once again.
God bless America! PLEASE!