Posts tagged ‘members’

August 22, 2012

Forgive It

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26015375@N06/3914730774/

2 Corinthians 2:5-11
5 If someone caused distress, I’m not the one really affected. To some extent—although I don’t want to emphasize this too much—it has affected all of you.
6 The majority of you have imposed a severe enough punishment on that person.
7 So now forgive and comfort him. Such distress could overwhelm someone like that if he’s not forgiven and comforted.
8 That is why I urge you to assure him that you love him.
9 I had also written to you to test you. I wanted to see if you would be obedient in every way.
10 If you forgive someone, so do I. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did in the presence of Christ for your benefit.
11 I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming.

The Apostle Paul is talking to a church who is not forgiving one of its members. I am not sure what was done, but what I do know, because of his other teachings, is that this person must have asked for others to forgive. You see, it is biblical that if you have wronged someone who you should ask for the forgiveness and if you ask another Christian, they are required to give the forgiveness. If someone does not ask, there is no repentance, and no forgiveness is required to be given. I am sure that someone is going to challenge me on this, but I am talking about a situation that is being dealt with in this church and this spans both letters that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth.
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things for anybody to do. When we get hurt, it is somehow in us to return the hurt rather than forgiving. Sure, some of this comes from that person not asking, but far too often I hear people saying that they just won’t forgive.

Paul says that in the case where it has been asked, and withheld, we risk overwhelming that person. Later in this same letter Paul states that Christians have been given the ministry of reconciliation. In other words, we are to fix broken relationships, not shatter the pieces even further, making things beyond repair. So when we are asked to forgive, we should, and in that, we strengthen that person and encourage that same pattern of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Paul tells them that by forgiving, they are assuring that person of the love they have from us. It is easy to love those who treat us right. Anyone can do that. But Christians are supposed to love like Christ loves, and we must remember that while we were still His enemy, Christ died for us, showing His love. Love is not warm fuzzy feelings and never having to say you are sorry. Love is patient, kind, not selfish and doesn’t keep track of wrongs, according to the Bible.
Far too many Christians miss being like Jesus when they don’t forgive. Many others miss feeling the love of Jesus by not asking for the forgiveness. Forgiveness is the act of giving up our right to be angry and instead of holding a grudge, hold our relationship with people higher than our pride. Far too many marriages crumble because they are too busy pointing the finger of blame rather than opening the arms in love.

I encourage you to ask if you need forgiveness and give it when asked. Satan wants Christians to hold grudges and act like we don’t love people. Paul says that we should not be outwitted and that we should know that this unforgiveness thing is part of Satan’s scheme. Kick Satan in the butt and forgive. You will be more like Christ if you do, and something tells me that you will feel better than if you continue to hold that grudge.

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January 10, 2012

Beautiful Women

by pastortimfowler

Every year, several magazines name the world’s top ten most beautiful women and they always get it wrong because my wife is not on the list. Because of this, I refuse to take anything they say seriously when it comes to beauty. It is obvious that they have no clue of what true beauty is, nor do they really care. Their idea of beauty is what they can manufacture through the sales of the products advertised in their publications. Besides the make-up and surgical enhancements, a computer makes the women of these lists look like they do and it is something that God has never created and intended a woman to look like.
Now let me admit that I love it when the most beautiful woman in the world gets all dressed up and puts on some make-up and fixes her hair and then we go out in public and people stare at me wondering how did I get so lucky. But I love it just as much when I wake up next to this same woman and she has no make-up on and her hair is a bit wild-looking. She is just as beautiful then.
Our church is full of beautiful women too. It is difficult to be a pastor and admit that in a blog that many of our church members say that they read, including the most beautiful woman in the world. But the truth is what it is. I guess it sure beats looking out at a bunch of ugly women every Sunday. But what I was getting at is that these women are beautiful just as they are.
Several of them are on this health kick and have started a Zumba class. I am not sure what that is. All I know is that when they start, they shut and lock the doors and threaten people who dare to come in while the class in going on. From that, I assume it is an anger management class. Nothing like a bunch of beautiful, angry women, locking themselves behind a closed-door, huh?
They also have been gambling. That’s right, in the church. They collect money in a pot to see who will lose the most weight. Silly women, who said that you needed to lose weight anyway? I bet the husbands would rather take you out on a hot date for ice cream with that money than have you come home sweaty, tired, and mad that you didn’t win.
I guess as long as they are doing these things for health reasons and not beauty reasons I am okay with it. I do know that exercise, if it doesn’t cause injury or heart attacks, could be good for you. But, I was watching the football game last night and saw these amazing athletes involved in a game that required them to exercise regularly and several of them got hurt. Meanwhile there was about 90,000 people sitting in seats watching and half of them were fat and out of shape and yet none of them got injured. So perhaps this exercise thing is not what it’s cracked up to be.
Let me stop with the amazingly witty and ingenious humor and get serious for a minute. God made you to be beautiful in His eyes. If you don’t feel that you are beautiful, it is not His fault, it could be that you have been fooled by some people who don’t love you. God loves you. God made the first woman, Eve, before there were even any stores that sold make-up and before there was even a door to hide behind to do Zumba. When He created her, Adam looked at her and said, WO! MAN!, Thus she was called woman, because she was beautiful, without make-up, surgery, or a magazine to tell her or her husband what she should look like. Sure, if you have read the Bible, you know that Adam got to see her naked first, and I am sure that helped with his perception of beauty, but still, she didn’t have to work at it, God made her that way.
So to the beautiful women of my church, who appropriately call themselves “The Body Babes”, zoom on in your Zumba class. Eat as little as you think will help to drop a pound or two. Get healthy and feel good. But at the end of it all, as I sit back and eat my chocolate chip ice cream and cheese curls and I watch the game and those commercials come on trying to convince me that you are not perfectly beautiful, I will turn away from the TV, dip my cheese curl in my ice cream, raise it in a toast, and look at the most beautiful woman in the world.