Posts tagged ‘motivated’

May 21, 2012

Be Careful of Pride

by pastortimfowler

 http://www.creationswap.com/cottagedesign

As you have heard in the past, I pastor an incredible church. I try not to say that too often because they will get big heads and start thinking that I like them. Then they would expect me to keep saying nice things about them. Anyway, this weekend was great. We are very blessed to have a place where our folks can feel good about bringing their friends who don’t go to church. Every week we have new faces in the crowd because someone is bringing friends. As a pastor, this is both refreshing and humbling.
This Sunday we were privileged to get to baptize 5 people. For a church our size, about 150, it is unusual to see so many baptized at once, but we do this quite often. So far this year we have baptized over 25 people. We had a few others who were scheduled to be dunked but they did not make it due to sickness in the family. I was disappointed.
I am not sure of why I let it bother me but it did. I am thrilled that 5 people were there, but was strangely bothered by those who did not make it. I understood that there was reason they did not come, but it still bothered me. I would like to explain that I have a competitive nature and somehow felt like I was winning a race or something. Even though I still won, I could have done better, if that makes sense.
You see, baptizing people means that people are getting to know Jesus. When people get to know Jesus they accept Him as Savior. When they accept Him as Savior, they no longer go to hell and Satan loses. Take that! Punk! When Satan loses, God gets the glory and when God gets the glory, I like it. But there is still something in me that likes to think I had a part in it. I like to think God has used our church as a small part of His plan. I struggle with the prideful side of this, but I guess it is okay to be proud to be on the winning team.
When God allows us to be part of what He is doing, we must be careful to never forget that without Him there is nothing that really matters. If there is no God, then baptized people just got wet and our church is a place where strange delusions cause people to act weird. But because there is a God, we act weird and dunk people in water because they are professing to know Jesus. Either way I guess it can sound a bit strange.
Pride can take you in ways that you shouldn’t go. It can cause you to think about self and feel pitiful if you don’t get what you want or it can motivate you to do more so that others get what they need. My feeling blah about the folks that did not make it this Sunday was a little of both. I guess I should be careful not to let the negative side of pride get the best of me. There are many churches out there would be thrilled to baptize 5 people in a whole year, and I got to do it in one Sunday morning. WOOHOO!

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April 3, 2012

Not Discouraged

by pastortimfowler

untitled - raising my hands to the sky

I was reading through the Apostle Paul’s 2nd letter to the church in Corinth. This was an amazing dude. He was either absolutely a lunatic or he knew something very special. In his first few paragraphs he writes that he was not discouraged with all that was happening to him. In short, he was imprisoned, put in a dungeon, beaten, and given a death sentence all for preaching about Jesus. On top of that, many of his friends and church people who he helped, often turned against him. Many openly doubted that he was really an apostle and the Jews thought that he was a traitor. Through all of this, he maintained a positive attitude toward what he was doing and over and over told people who it was worth it.
What kept this man so motivated? Most normal people would have given up and changed their mind about this new-found faith. As a pastor, I see new believers forsake their faith when tough times hit far too often. I think people have confused a relationship with God and what the Bible tells us with a fairy tale that says, and they all lived happily ever after. No where in the Bible does it say being a Christian would be easy and that no more hard times would ever come our way after we prayed for forgiveness. In fact, it is quite the opposite and Paul wrote about this in most of his letters.
What motivated Paul was his belief that what was on the other side of death was worth it. He believed Jesus when He said that in this world we will have troubles, but what awaited us after we died was a reward that could not be imagined by the human mind because it was so great. He also knew that every person that he was able to convince of this would not spend eternity in Hell, a place the he and Jesus were convinced was real, but the Heaven that they both believed in was far greater than anything this life had to offer and therefore the struggles here were worth it.
Paul knew of the crucifixion that Christ suffered and how brutal it was and that Christ died that horrible death for sinners like him and like me. He knew that Jesus was falsely accused, wrongly sentence and beaten and put to death, as well as rejected by friends and the Jews. Paul often wrote that he considered it an honor to suffer for the cause of Christ.
Now don’t misunderstand me, Paul had some awesome times and he wrote about them too. But his idea of a great time differed from what we would often think of as a great time. He got the chance to preach to kings and governors. He got a chance to see new churches start and become thriving examples of Christianity in cities where immorality was rampant. He saw young men and women leave behind false gods and idolatry and become workers for the cause of Christ. He saw thousands of people change their direction from one that leads to Hell to one that leads to eternity with God. He saw hope given to hopeless and believed that Jesus Christ Himself would greet him one day and say, “Well done, my good faithful servant”.
Yep, things in this life can get you down. It can be hard to cope with losing jobs, seeing loved ones get sick and die, have friends turn on you and face the fact that one day our own lives will come to an end. But we can be encouraged by that hope that Paul had. This hope is that God loves us. He loves us so much that He allowed Jesus to take our death and gives us eternal life when we ask for forgiveness. After that, He allows us to tell as many people as we can about this same hope and the chance of one day hearing those words of “well done” from a Savior who thought it worth the price of His own life so that we could know Him personally.
I was glad I read about Paul and his encouraging message. I was feeling a bit down today, you know, the hassles of living that make you feel blah from time to time. But then I was reminded of the hope that the Bible gives and the fact that this world is not my home. I am only a traveler through it and one day, I will see Jesus face to face. Now, I am not discouraged.

March 11, 2011

Motivation is a precious thing.

by pastortimfowler
Unleashed

Unleashed Conference in Anderson, SC

I just got in at about 9pm tonight and I am wiped out. I did not sleep well last night because I knew that I had to get up earlier than normal in order to drive a couple of hours to a conference that started at 8:30am. The alarm went off at 4:30am and the day began. We ate breakfast as we drove down I-85 and talked about traffic, kids, and how much we looked forward to what we were about to experience.
I have also had a horrible week due to some work stress that I chose to do. It was not church work stress it was, ‘I will help someone out on a job that I really don’t want to do’, type stress. What I am saying is that I brought it on myself. I usually end up with a headache when I get stressed and it usually lasts for a few days even after the stress is gone. This is no different.
I have been very optimistic about our church for a while now. God has been doing some amazing stuff and I love it when I get to be part of what He does. However, I have had some decisions that needed to be made and some prayers that have been tough to get an answer for and I really needed to hear clearly from God on a few things. Quite frankly, I needed some motivation.
I GOT IT!!! The conference was through the roof. It was all about not being afraid to do what God wants you to do. Hold tight to your vision. Don’t be afraid of the unknown because we know the One who knows it all! It was about loving and living for God.
I was motivated by the people who volunteered. Who took a Thursday off from work and school and pick up trash, open doors, smile at me. I was motivated by the musicians who played with such excitement and skill to bring me into the presence of God. I was motivated by the people I met that traveled from further than I did to learn how to better serve their churches. I was motivated by a pastor who opened his church and opened his heart to help other churches and pastors understand the mission of preaching the gospel. I was motivate by my friends who wept and prayed and worshiped and learned. I was motivated by my wife who held my hand, touched my heart and loved me. I was motivated by God who allowed all this to come together just when I needed it the most. There is nothing better than God’s timing for God’s plan for God’s people.
Motivation is a precious thing!
Thanks to New Spring Church for the Unleash conference. WOW!