Posts tagged ‘finances’

September 18, 2012

Miraculas Faith

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62533788@N02/7846245072/

When was the last time you saw a miracle? For Christians, we talk about miracles all the time and do get a chance to see them. For the most part we see people healed who have no explanation, situations that seem hopeless, all of a sudden become blessings, or that relationship that was over is now mended. In our church we have seen babies born who were said would not be and a foot that was scheduled to be amputated due to diabetes suddenly turn pink and healthy, and we have seen our share of just totally unexplainable stuff that we give God credit for. But those things seem to, over time, fade in the level of excitement and we all but forget about them until someone like me brings them up as a reminder.
God is all-powerful and does do those type of miracles and more. But that is not what He wants us to focus on. From the beginning of time God has shown His miracle-working power and it has never held the people’s attention much longer than it took for the next problem to come up. But God did not and does not stop doing the impossible, only because He loves us and, I think there is part of it that goes without saying, if you could do those type things, you just would. What God wants us to focus on is His words. What God says should be as good to those who believe in Him as the miracles we give Him credit for. But trusting in God’s word is tough for us because some of what He says goes against our egos and our own desire to be rebellious.
One of the greatest miracles I have ever had happen to me was in my finances. We had begun to trust God’s word and what it says about giving, particularly tithing or giving 10% of our income. It wasn’t long after that time that we experienced a severe reduction in income. The first thought was to cut back on giving and pay our bills, but we remembered God’s instructions to believers about giving from the first of what we made and we decide to act in faith. If we did what God says do, then He has to honor what He says. Without going into a long story of details, let me just say that our finances were blessed. A miracle, I believe so, but most importantly, it was done because of faith in God’s word and His faithfulness to keep His word. I can tell you several other stories of how faithfulness on our behalf was honored by God acting like God and doing what we could not explain. Some may say that these are not true miracles but rather coincidences and I will only say that God is in control of those too.
My point is this. God has no obligation to do miracles as a reward for our good behavior nor does He have to do them to prove that He exists. God wants a relationship with people and miracles don’t make relationships stronger, trust does. God cannot be proven into existence. He has and always will exist. His miracles in the past did not bring people flocking to Him, His faithfulness did. And that relationship based on faith or trust is what opens the way for Him to do those mind-blowing things that we can’t explain. But if God never did another miracle, would you still trust Him? I would.
I would because I find nothing that He has ever said to be proven wrong. I find plenty that I don’t understand, but nothing wrong. I would because whenever God has said something and I acted on it, the results were exactly what His word says they would be. My marriage is stronger because I follow His guidelines for marriage. My friendships are stronger because I follow His guidelines for friendships. My children all turned out fine (Yes, I know that is open for debate if you know them), because we tried to raise them on God’s guidelines. My church is growing like crazy because we did away with all the bylaws and man’s laws and just started to following the Bible.
The biggest reason for my faith in God’s word is because week after week I see people who are hurting and messed up and just plain weird, decide to trust God for salvation and forgiveness and they in turn bring their friends who eventually have the same experience and so on. I know where I came from. I was not good enough for God to love me, I was so messed up that I was certain that there was no way He could love me, but He did anyway. He forgave me, accepted me, and was patient as I learned to trust Him through the years.
Truly the most miraculous thing about God is faith. If you haven’t seen a miracle, take a step of faith and trust God to forgive you. If you have seen a miracle, don’t forget about it, but look at how often the little things He promises never fail you and build on those. What God does for us is miraculous, but it is all an act of miraculous faith.

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July 13, 2011

The Sky Is Falling!

by pastortimfowler

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Jesus is coming tomorrow! We are killing our planet! Its the worse thing that has EVER happened!!! When you hear stuff like this you think that you are either reading a children’s story about a talking chicken or watching the news or listening to our government leaders.
I try really hard to stay away from criticizing our elected officials because they have a hard job to do and I know from experience that you can’t please everyone. But there is a trend in Washington that is driving me crazy and it is the trend of calling everything a crisis. If everything is that bad then forget about what people say and fix it or quit calling everything a crisis before we stop listening to what Chicken Little has to say.
Just yesterday our president said that he could not guarantee the American public that social security checks and military retirement checks would be able to go out unless we raised our debt ceiling. I’m sorry, I thought my social security was in a “lock box” and now you’re telling me that you have to borrow the money to pay it? He told us the when he was elected that it was the worse economy since the great depression and yet two and a half years later things are even worse. He told us that if we would spend trillions that our economy would turn around and it hasn’t. He tells me, the general public that I have to do my part to help by cutting back and conserving, but he wants to spend more money. He complains about people who own corporate jets and he flies around the world in a 747 and a helicopter.


My wife and I took a hard look at our finances when I had to take a pay cut and our business went under. We both decided that hotdogs were good enough and the steak could stay in the grocery store. We started not traveling and taking cheaper modes of transportation if we had too. We watched every dime that came in and went out and the first thing that we did was stop any extra credit. No more visa, department store, or gas cards. We only paid for what we could afford. And you know what happened? We made it. Now we have far less debt and still don’t want any more. We are able to do more in the line of wants verses needs, but our financial status is better than it was when we started.
If we had taken the government approach, we would have borrowed as much money as we possibly could to pay the debt that we already had. We would have given some of it to people who aren’t doing anything to deserve it. We would have complained that the banks were evil for giving us the money, yet never once consider that we asked for it. We would find our rich uncle and tell him to pay our bills, even the new ones we were so irresponsible to get. And if that rich uncle didn’t want to give me HIS money, we would call him evil and greedy.
Sadly, the sky is going to fall on America one day if we don’t start acting like we have some common sense. We need to remind the government that it is our money they are spending, and that they need to stop spending and start being responsible with what they have. Americans are tough and resourceful. We can plant gardens and raise chickens if we have to in order to feed our families. We don’t mind cutting back and tightening our belts and working through a tough time. But we don’t need our leaders trying to scare us because they want to be reelected.
Here’s a novel idea. What if politicians did what they were supposed to. Protect us from enemies foreign and domestic. Provide an environment that encourages people to become self-sufficient. Don’t spend money you don’t have and don’t borrow from people who want to see our country fail. What if they did the right thing and let people decide to reelect them based on their job, not their talk or threats.
This is only a blog and I know that things are far more complicated than I stated, but the fact is, if I am out of money and you are out of money, shouldn’t the government be out of money? And if that is true, me borrowing and you borrowing and them borrowing will not make us better off.
Please Washington, stop trying to scare us with idle threats because you aren’t getting your way. We are scared enough because some are getting their way and it is not for the benefit of the people of this country. The sky is not falling…yet.