Posts tagged ‘Matthew 16:26’

July 3, 2012

Third Option Men

by pastortimfowler

 

I want to tell you about an organization that is worth checking out. It is called Third Option Men. The founder is a guy named Evan, and him and his dad were the ones who made our trip to Cuba possible. I encourage you to check out the website and/or Facebook page. The website is www.thirdoptionmen.org and just type in the name to find them on Facebook. The purpose of this group is to encourage guys to develop relationships that allow for accountability and more than just a Sunday morning type relationship that is far to common in the church today. It is about the type of relationship that Jesus had with his disciples, close and personal.
Far too often men tend to take their Christianity way too casually. We want the type of relationship that does not allow another man to get close enough to ask the hard questions or hear the brutal truth about how we are struggling in our relationships at work, home, and with God. Evan describes this beginning and often only type of man to man relationship of Christian males as the ‘awkward handshake’. The kind of relationship where we know your name and your favorite football team but never know that your marriage is falling apart and you might be struggling with an addiction. He encourages us to develop relationships that are real, relevant and reliable, just like Jesus and His relationship with others.
Basically, men have only three options in life. We can live for self, live for worldly gain, or live for God. Christian men need to choose the third option…get it? Third Option Men?
Living for self is easy. Looking out for number one is the way we are taught through most of life and the media. This is much like the “if it feels good do it” mentality. I saw a commercial the other day about a company that does cosmetic surgery and one of the women made the statement that if there was something that someone could do to make them feel better about themselves that they should do it at any cost. So if you think the way God made you is not good enough and that He made a mistake, a doctor can fix it and you will feel good about yourself. Sadly, surgery does nothing for that God shaped hole we are all trying to fill. So self-indulgence is not the answer.
Living for worldly gain sounds good. If we could only have more money, a bigger house, or a nicer car, we would feel better. Even if we could have bigger breasts (not men, but our wives) and less wrinkles, that would help, but you need to have the money for that. After all, we see how happy all the Hollywood crowd is with their plastic surgery and successful marriages and lack of drug and alcohol abuse, (Sarcasm). I actually saw more satisfied people in Cuba making $20 a month than I see in Hollywood making millions. Before you disagree, think about the number of famous people who are divorced, in rehab, gone broke, or even killed themselves. Jesus said it best about this option; Matthew 16:26, What good will it do for people to win the whole world and lose their lives? Or what will a person give in exchange for life?
The third option, to live for God, requires one to deny self and think of others. It requires you to build a relationship with someone who cares enough to invest time in you or vice versa. It requires you to give and to love and to get involved with someone to the point that you know what is really important and what can really help. It is what Jesus did with the men that He decided to hang out with. It is what we need to do as Christian men.
We took this message into Cuba and found that men there have the same reservations as we do in America. But when laid out in plain and biblical truths, it is undeniable that it works and is needed. Not the program or the book, or even the title, but the lifestyle. Third Option Men has a heart for those who are hurting and is going into churches and communities and countries to help men get over that macho attitude of self-reliance and teaching them to live for God.
I chose the third option. It is not easy and I fail often, but I have some friends who know how to help and care when I struggle. They too have chosen to follow God. God does not want men to be loners, but to have vital relationships to help us through that many paths that He may lead us.
Check it out…Third Option Men.

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March 30, 2012

Mega Dream 448 0834

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/doncav/3308653398/sizes/l/in/photostream/

It can happen to you! Winning the Mega million lottery is the dream that everyone is talking about today. 500 million dollars and growing. I have not been into a store yet today that sold lottery tickets and there has not been a line of people buying their tickets. I heard one guy saying that if he won, he would be sure to find a church to give some money to so that God would be happy. I gave him my card. I did not tell him that God could not be bought off.
All of us have fantasized at one time or another about what we would do with millions of dollars being given to us. New cars, new houses, dream vacations, and God all top the list. Many Christians make deals with God in order to increase their odds of winning. They say stuff like, I would pay off the church debt, or I would help missionaries around the world, or, and this is my favorite, I would make sure my pastor gets a million or two. I tell my congregation all the time that if they win, tithe. Giving 10% of $500 million would be $50 million for those who are wondering. With that, we could accomplish all the for mentioned prayers.
If I won, I am sure that I would give a lot to the church and to missionaries, and of course, I am the pastor, so I would make sure I have a couple of million. I write this just in case God reads my blog and it helps increase my odds of winning. But in reality I am not counting on becoming a multimillionaire any time soon.
So many times we think that money is the key to happiness. Sure it can help, but I know of lots of rich people who died miserable. I have never been rich but I have been very happy for most of my adult life. One thing I have found is that rarely money has had much to do with my true happiness. That has come from family and friends and my faith in God. Rarely has there ever been a bad situation that depended on money to restore my happiness. Don’t misunderstand, I like money and it can be a tool to reach happiness, but in no way is it the source of happiness.
Matthew 16:26 What will it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? When Jesus spoke these words, he was challenging us to think past what this world has to offer. In 18 years as a pastor I have never been by someone on their death-bed who wished that they had worked more or made more money. Most say they wished they had done more to make a difference in others lives. Most say that they are anxious about what they might face after they die and hope that God is merciful because in contrast to what they know the Bible teaches, they have fallen a bit short.
No one can say for sure what happens after we die. But here is a fact that no one can deny. Money will mean nothing after we are gone. So while we are here, perhaps we should look into what we can do to gain happiness in things that money can’t but rather the things that relationships offer, and yes, I will try to find our happiness in something eternal, Jesus Christ.
So if you win the lottery, take care of others, especially us poor pastors. But don’t rely totally on it to give you joy and beware of the friends and family that you will meet that you never knew you had.
Sincerely, your friend and brother… if you win.
If you don’t win…Sincerely, just some dude writing a blog.