Posts tagged ‘free’

January 28, 2013

How Did We Get Here?

by pastortimfowler

Blog

 

I want to fast forward through the rest of Genesis to get to Moses and the deliverance from Egypt. I am currently working on a commentary of the Bible so I don’t want to duplicate that in blog form. Most people are familiar with the story of Moses and how God used him to free Israel from slavery in Egypt. What most don’t think about is how they got there. If you have read your Bible you know the story of Joseph being sold into slavery and the brother’s lie to the dad saying that he was killed. What happens after that is often forgotten when the slavery part comes around.
The Old Testament is full of typology. Certain things and places represent certain common theological issues all throughout the Bible. For instance, Egypt is a type of sin. God’s people, Israel were in bondage to sin, Egypt. When we get to that point in the Bible, most of us are feeling sorry for Israel and rooting for them to be delivered. We all want God to fix the injustice that Egypt is inflicting on them. What we forget is that Israel chose to live there.
Keeping in mind the typology, Israel chose through the years to disobey God. God promised them a land through Abraham and his descendents and over time they rebelled and did what they wanted to do. They chose what felt right to man over what was right to God. That is how sin works. It causes us to go farther and farther away from God. Before you know it we are deep in trouble and crying for God to get us out of it..
Remember that Joseph was sold and left for dead. God sent a famine, and his family that did this to him had to face their sin by going into Egypt and asking for help. Joseph made it possible for the family to move into Egypt and for a while, things were great. But that is how it is, way to often, with sin. It usually feels good and for a while even looks like the right thing, but before long, sin shows its true colors and turns ugly.
God said from the beginning that sin would lead to death. He said that sin would cause trouble for mankind as long as we are on this earth. The more we sin, the less God can fix our problems until we finally decide to turn to Him in desperation and let Him restore us. The good news is that when we finally ask God for help, He will help. He is the only answer to our sin problem. His gift of salvation and forgiveness comes through. Call to Him with all your heart. It is called faith and repentance. If we cry out to God with a change of heart He will forgive us and begin to deliver us from our sin.
The best thing we can do is trust God before we move to Egypt. Turn to God before we think that we can fix a problem by trying to get even further in sin.
Don’t forget that it was Israel that chose to live in Egypt. Don’t forget that even their best efforts turned into slavery. Don’t forget that God is the one who set them free. And don’t forget that you too can be set free if you cry out to God.

January 7, 2013

Did God Really Say…?

by pastortimfowler

Blog

Today I was reading Genesis chapter 3 and this is where Adam and Eve were tempted and gave in to temptation. It is the fall of mankind from a life of eternal fellowship with God to one of separation from God and the beginning of humanity’s struggle to accept God’s word for what God intends it to be and what we want it to be. Genesis 3:1The snake was more clever than all the wild animals the LORD God had made. He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must never eat the fruit of any tree in the garden‘?”
The argument of what God really says or really means is as old as mankind. Because we were given free will, we are unlike any other creature that God put on this earth. We have the choice obeying or disobeying. We can choose to believe in God or not. He will never force us to believe. God wants us to believe that He is our creator and that we are precious to Him and that He loves us. He wants us to love Him and love can never before forced. Free will is our blessing and our curse all rolled into one. It is what allows us to choose to believe in this loving God and accept His provision for forgiveness or chose to believe that we can do it ourselves.
Satan, in whom I also believe in, is a master of deception and a master of twisting God’s words. That is how he works and how he got Adam and Eve to fall into sin. It is because Satan knows that we are prideful and pride causes us to think that no one can do it better than we can. No one can love me like I love me. But this is not true. No one knows me better or loves me better than God, our Creator. But Satan twisted that truth and had Eve questioning the truth of God’s word with a little jealousy to stir the pot. Between our pride, jealousy, and nowadays our lack of reading the Bible completely to know the truth, Satan finds it really easy to get us to ask, what did God really say?
Satan told Eve that God just didn’t want us to have this great knowledge of right and wrong and if we did obtain it, God would be jealous that we would know what He knows and that we would be like God. And, like most kids who are far smarter than their parents, she believed that.
Christians are quick to accept the forgiveness and the gift of eternal life, but then we find loopholes and cause for doubt when we read or hear that the Bible tells us not to do or to do things that we don’t feel good about. Feelings, unfortunately will cost many Christian to miss out on many blessings. These same feelings will cause many who are not Christians to miss out on forgiveness and all the time blame God for sending them to Hell.
God does not send people to Hell no more than people get themselves into Heaven. God simply tells us the truth and we use our free will to believe God, who made a simple and complete way of forgiveness and eternity in Heaven, or to not trust God because we think we know better. And all along the way, Satan is there to encourage us to not trust God.
Here are a few things that God says and you can decide what to believe:

Romans 3:23Because all people have sinned, they have fallen short of God’s glory.
Sin is anything that you think say or do that goes against God. This means we have all missed the mark. Most of us don’t have a hard time believing that we have sinned. We just have a hard time believing what will happen to us because we have sinned.

Romans 6:23 The payment for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God told Adam and Eve that they would die when they disobeyed Him. This is a spiritual separation and yes, the physical death is part of the curse. We deserve it because God is God and we are not and we were told to obey Him. His rules, not mine or yours. This is not what God wanted nor wants now, so He gave a solution to our sin problem in Jesus Christ. It is a total gift. This to is not open for our ways to override God’s way.

Romans 10:13 So then, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
You must exercise your free will to call on Him or not. But whoever does, will be saved from their sin problem. Again, simple, singular (in that Jesus is the only way) and our choice. God will not nor can not force us to love Him or accept His love. He wants us to know Him and learn to love Him just as a child learns to love his parents.

Romans 8:1 So those who are believers in Christ Jesus can no longer be condemned.
Just as God took care of Adam and Eve after they disobeyed, He will take care of us. When we trust God’s word for forgiveness, we get God’s word for eternal protection and eternal life. But if we chose not to believe God, then we chose to find out the hard way that God does not lie. And when this life is over, we will all meet Him. Some will meet Him as Savior, some will meet Him as Judge, but all will meet God one day.

Romans 14:11For it is written, “As I live,” says the Lord, “to me every knee shall bow, And to God shall every tongue confess.”
On that day, we will not get the option to ask…Did you (God) really say…?

May 24, 2012

Memorial Day

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hpebley3/3504265592/

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend, when we unofficially kick off the summer. There will be races, baseball, concerts and cookouts. Schools will be letting out for the last long weekend and people will be making their first beach trips of the year. Yet none of this has anything to do with the original purpose for Memorial Day.
The original purpose was a day of healing and remembering the fallen soldiers of the Civil war when General John Logan ordered flowers put on the graves of the Union and Confederate soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery . Over the years flowers and flags have been place on all the graves in Arlington and through-out cemeteries all across the USA where fallen soldiers are buried. Most big events like the races and ballgames have a special events honoring these fallen heroes and I am grateful. But unless you go to an event like that, very little is mentioned about the meaning of this day among the people.
I will be heading up to Washington DC for Rolling Thunder. It is a motorcycle rally and parade through the DC area to honor the Vietnam Vets and especially the MIA, (missing in action) and POW (prisoners of war) who were never returned. There will be nearly a million motorcyclist gathered for this event that tops it all off with a parade that runs through the historic DC area. This will be my third time going and each time has been a blessing and an honor.
During a political season, especially one where the presidency is at stake, Americans practice their freedom of speech like never before. As much as I hate some of the hatefulness of the rhetoric, I am reminded of those who died for this freedom and I have to be thankful. Even if you hate everything about our country and you are a citizen here, you have rights that are yours because someone cared enough to fight for them. Many of those who fought for your right to speak freely, will never speak again with words from their mouth, but they continue to scream “You are free!” because of their actions on the battle field that sent them to the grave.
When General Logan decided to have a day honoring the fallen of both sides of the Civil war, his purpose was to have reconciliation and strengthen peace. A flower on a grave will never honor a fallen warrior as much as you having the freedom to speak of their heroics will. We can honor their service by putting aside our differences for a weekend and speaking of the good that came from their deaths. We can say thanks to those in uniform who are still serving. Why not give them some flowers or buy their lunch or simply shake their hands and say thanks. Don’t forget those who served in the past who are still alive. Many veterans struggle with a deep feeling of not being appreciated for the years that they served. If you know a veteran, tell them thanks for their service.
We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. The free are free because the brave are unselfish. Many of those brave gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to be free. They would want nothing more than for you to have a great time this weekend enjoying the freedom that they died for. But please don’t let this weekend go by without taking a moment to remember those whose gave it all so that we could have such a great place to live. God bless those who sacrificed. Jesus said, “No great love can a man have than to lay down his life for a friend.” God bless America!

February 17, 2012

Its Free!!!

by pastortimfowler

Without saying that I am a Republican or Democrat, I am saying that I am sick of politicians promising everything to everyone and saying that it is free. The latest argument that insurance companies should give away contraceptives to people who are poor is another of the many “free” things the government promises. The latest vote on the Hill is to continue giving unemployment to those who are still without work. They are “giving” us about $40 extra in our paychecks by not taking more of our money. The sacrifice that no one is talking about is that this gift is coming from our future Social Security. I can probably do without it now more than I can do without it when it is my retirement plan.
Who pays for anything that the government “gives” us? Where does the government get “their” money? Its call our taxes. Its called taking our money and using it as if it was theirs. I won’t argue about who should pay more. Rich or poor, we should all pay our share because we must fund the basics of what makes our country function, but welfare and handouts don’t make anyone more productive and those things are not free. The only people who do not pay for these things are those who are making it their lifestyle of taking and never giving.
I ran a business a couple of times in my life. Nothing was free. Every factor of business was accounted for and was figured into the pricing of our products and services. If I incurred a cost such as a raise in rent, power bill, payroll, or made to give something away, I passed the cost on to the customer. Don’t gasp in disbelief, because every business does it. Otherwise we can’t stay in business. So when the government, who has no money of its own, tells any business that they must pass on a service or a product to those who can’t pay and make it “free”, someone will have to pay for it and that someone is the paying customers.
Freedom is not free. There is always a price for something valuable. Those who get things for free continually have no value in what they get and someone else is paying for them. They become dependent and often feel as if they are owed the hand out. The right to have property comes from the privilege of having a job or a way to produce a product that has value to someone else who is willing to pay for it. A home given to someone who has no desire to work and no concern of losing it is often a just a building that eventually has no worth to anyone. A check that is given for doing nothing but walking to the mailbox only makes one want to walk to the mailbox. Sure we pay for unemployment insurance, but that has its limits. Congress extending those benefits for what is now years, are not spending the big pile of free money that they make, but rather they are taking money from my paycheck that I earn and giving it to someone who now, may not be willing to work anymore.
Everything has a cost and some has to pay. Usually those who pay the highest cost are those who have the biggest heart. Government has no heart. They are not giving out of love and concern, but rather the desire to stay in office. If they want it to be free, give it from their paycheck and leave mine alone.
I give to church and other charities. I help those in need and do it because of the motivation of knowing Jesus as my Savior. But never forget that Jesus worked. He told people to work and give and even to pay taxes. But paying taxes was never to take care of those who want something for free. His command was for Christians to personally take care of the family and people they knew who were in need and the church to take care of the poor that had no family…not the government.
Stop believing when people say. Its free!

January 17, 2012

Junk Mail

by pastortimfowler

As much as I hate to admit it, I love going to the mailbox to see what has been delivered for the day. Snail mail, as it is called, always has this hope of finally receiving the check…you know, the one that’s “in the mail”. When I was a kid, my grandma use to send me the occasional letter addressed to Master Tim Fowler. Few today would ever know that Master was the prefix for a young man, much like Miss for a young woman. Today many who know me will get confused over that because my wife now calls me Master. But that is a different story. I love getting the mail.
But…Now-a-days there is so much junk mail that it can get quite ridiculous. There are times when the lid on the box won’t even shut because of all the junk mail. Stores don’t send out annual catalogs anymore, they send out weekly sales papers to let you know that everything is on sale, again. Grocery store, department store, drug store, furniture store and the all important, tire store sales papers flood the mailbox.
Then there are the free trips to anywhere that you find out aren’t free. The pre approved credit cards that aren’t pre approved. The mortgage refinance offers that promise you twice as much as your house is worth and half the interest rate that you can get anywhere else. None of these ever pan out to be what they claim on the envelope. Today I received at least three different political advertisements telling me how the next savior of the planet should get my vote because the other guy who claims to be a savior is nothing more than a dirt bag who lies.
On my computer I have what they call email. It is an electronic sort of communication that allows you to send notes and letters to someone via the computer. I am such a techy that I thought some of you might not know this. Anyway, it too has junk mail. Theses get really weird. If you did not know me and you saw some of the things that get into my junk mail box you would think that I was a pervert with male performance problems who is addicted to pain medicines that I can receive without a prescription from a “reputable” overseas pharmacist. Occasionally I can get free hotel rooms in Vegas when I book my flight now and for a small upgrade fee, they will throw in a car too.
Not exactly junk mail but just as entertaining is the commercials for things that can only be bought from the TV. My dogs will never bark, poop, or shed again if I just order now and if I order in the next 20 seconds I can get the second one absolutely free, just pay additional shipping and handling. Now there is a way to make money. Just be the company that charges that much to deliver worthless crap to people who think they are getting the other one for free.
The reason for this blog today is that yesterday was a federal holiday and I checked my mailbox three times at home and twice at church before I realized there would be no mail delivered. Therefore I am expecting a full load from the mail carrier today. Got to go!….I think I heard the mailman!

October 21, 2011

What To Do, What To Do?

by pastortimfowler

As the weekend rolls in and the workweek ends, it is time to think about what to do with the family. If you are like most, money is tight and many are choosing to sit home and yell at the kids and make the wife clean house while dads watch football. Sure this sounds great, but I want to give you some suggestions that might score a few brownie points with the family and don’t cost a whole lot.
One thing I like to do is catch a football game on the weekends, but NFL and NCAA games are expensive and usually sold out this late in the season unless you are a Panthers fan, and then who really cares. But there are a lot of smaller colleges that have teams and the tickets are very cheap and they rarely get an enthusiastic crowd. What if you took the family there and tailgated with several other families from your church and everyone act as if they were at “the big game”? If you don’t have a small college, do it with a local High School team. If everyone has a good time you are a hero, and if not, you didn’t waste much money and are close to home.
This is a great time of year for driving to a pumpkin patch, taking a hay ride, or driving around to look at fall colors. Before you leave, you can make some hot apple cider, bake some cookies and tell everyone to have the cameras ready. If you don’t like or can’t make cider, maybe the preferred drink would be to heat up some good ol’ cow squeezin’s and make hot chocolate. For the ride to look at the fall colors, you don’t even have to spend much in gas. Ride around your town and judge the best trees in town, either in different neighborhoods, or public parks.
Many churches are doing fall festivals now. These are usually free, with lots of activities for the family. If your church is doing one and you aren’t working it, check out a few other churches and spread the love. Some churches even have their versions of haunted trails and “helloween” dramas. I would check out the age appropriateness before choosing these.
If the weather is nice and none of these seem appealing, you can always spend the day at a park. This is a great time of year to walk a nature trail, swing and climb monkey bars. Take the portable grill or a picnic basket and make a day of it. Have the kids make a leaf collection them go home and iron the leaves between wax paper.
Then there is the old faithful, movie night. Pick something that everyone has seen a bunch of times and randomly yell out the lines before they are said. Make up alternate lines that you would rather have them say. Of course you will need plenty of popcorn and drinks and don’t forget the Milk Duds, or as I like to call then, Cow Squeezin’s Duds.
There is no excuse for not having fun this weekend with your family. If you don’t have a family, I will lend you mine. I hate doing this kind of stuff…just kidding. One last thing that you can do with the whole family is rake the leaves into a pile then take turns jumping into them. This will get that pesky yard work done and have a little fun too.
Now you have no excuses for not having an answer when someone asks, What to do, what to do?

August 4, 2011

Free Cell Phones

by pastortimfowler

Our government gives the poor way too much. It is not the job of the federal government to give food and housing to the poor. It is called the American dream to own a home, not the American right to own a home. Owning a home requires one to be able to pay for the home and just because the government makes it easier to get financing, does not mean that you are ready nor deserving to own the home. Just yesterday I saw that there is even a government program to give poor people a free cell phone with 250 free minutes. Why?
There is no such thing as the government giving anything for free. It is all paid for and due to the fact that our government has no money of its own, that means that those of us who work and pay taxes, pay for all this free stuff. Since I pay for my own food, house, and cell phone, I can’t afford to pay for someone who can’t afford it for themselves. I bought my house based on my good credit and my good work record and because I budget my finances well I have a cell phone.
Food is a touchy subject. I do believe that people need to eat. I believe that if someone has no job and can’t buy food that they should have a means in which to eat. I just don’t think that it should come from the government. And I don’t think that someone who refuses to work should be able to eat as well or better than someone who does work but has to make sacrifices because they are paying for someone else’s home, cell phone, and groceries.
By this time I probably have about half of the people who read my blogs fuming mad. I have probably been call insensitive and had my Christianity questioned. However, I am not wrong; it is not the government’s responsibility to do these things.
Let me make one statement that I hope we can all deal with; No one has a right to a free cell phone and minutes.
Let me now clarify some things from the above statements.
It is the churches responsibility to take care of the poor. I can’t and wont argue with someone who is not a Christian about whose responsibility it is. Hopefully we can all agree that helping someone in need is a good thing and we just do it. BUT… The Bible is very clear that the church, Christians, should feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and house the homeless. It is not the responsibility of the government.
The church should do it out of love and a desire to show Christ’s love to others. We should do it with a motivation to help others become self-dependent and then for them to be able to help others. We should not just give to those who are not willing to help themselves. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 While we were with you, we gave you the order: “Whoever doesn’t want to work shouldn’t be allowed to eat.” There is a difference between those who can’t work and those who won’t.
Our society has created a class of people who are freeloaders. They know every agency and every charity that is willing to give away something free. When asked to work they refuse because they have more than they need from the give-aways, including a free cell phone and minutes.
My challenge to you is this. As of right now, things are not going to change when it comes to government give aways. But we can elect officials who will work to change these things. I am not talking about yanking the rug out from under poor innocent people who are down on their luck. I am talking about stopping the use of our tax dollars to promote freeloading. Pray about how you can begin to work within your church to help those in need. The old saying, give a man a fish, you feed him today, teach a man to fish, he feeds himself for a lifetime, is still true. We must help people become self-sufficient.
I will never allow someone to walk away to starvation. I will never allow someone to freeze to death because they have no shelter. I will never stop someone from calling 911 on my cell phone in an emergency. But please stop giving away so much free stuff without accountability. Even Jesus requires us to be accountable with the new life that He gives us, so what is wrong with require accountability from others?