Posts tagged ‘paid’

August 30, 2012

One Step Ahead

by pastortimfowler

LEAD

6am is very early for a lot of people. I am one of those. There was a time when I was up and about by 5:30am every morning, but with kids growing up and moving out and jobs changing to not require it, I have taken a liking to sleeping a little later. But this week I started meeting with a group of guys from the church at 6am for ministry training and it was really weird to be out that early. We wanted to meet at IHOP so that we could relax and let the food and drink come to us, but it doesn’t open until 7am. In fact, there is not a restaurant in this town other than fast food that opens that early, so I am not the only one who doesn’t want to get up that early.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron,so one person sharpens the wits of another. This is the verse I shared with the guys today, at 6am. It is important in life to have someone who can help you achieve your goals and follow God’s calling. It doesn’t matter if you are called to do a specific ministry or just want a closer relationship with God, others who have a little more experience can and should help. It is easy to become a Christian. All it takes is admitting you are a sinner in need of forgiveness from God and asking Him to forgive you because you believe that Jesus paid your sin debt. It is by grace that we are saved through faith. After that, the hard part begins. Growing to be the best Christian that you can be. Jesus never left the ones that He called alone to figure things out for themselves. He invested His time and His love into their lives. He showed them by example how to live a life that is pleasing to God and taught them about forgiveness when they failed.
Far too often Christians stagnate and become of very little influence to those around them. Not because they don’t want too, but because they don’t know how too. We try to be loners in our faith and self-taught followers of Christ. But like a self-taught plumber, self-taught Christians often don’t attempt much real work for fear of causing a bigger mess than that which already exists. This should not be the case.
Reading the Bible is an important part of being a Christian. But, like learning something such as plumbing, what you read can often confuse you more because some things need someone to explain terminology and procedures. And then there are those things that happen that don’t seem to fit the directions that you just read. I was trying to install a new sink the other day and the fittings in my house were different from what I had in the instructions that came with the sink. I tried several times to figure it out on my own, but every time I did, water kept flowing out of the pipes onto the floor and I am pretty sure that is not normal. So I went to the local home improvement store with parts in hand and asked for help. This guy was a plumber who had done this many times before and showed me how to make things right. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, but without his help, I would have never gotten it and chances are, I would have never tried this again. Now I believe that I could do it right and even help someone else who might be attempting this for the first time.
So I am trying to help some guys who want to go further in ministry. They in turn are helping others who are trying to grow in their Christian walk and relationship, and hopefully, one day those who they are helping will be meeting with me at 6am. Meanwhile, I encourage you to see about finding someone to help you grow to a better relationship with God. Perhaps you need encouragement to read your Bible more. Perhaps you need to serve in another capacity at your church and you need someone to help you take that step. Perhaps you just need to strengthen your faith in the simple fact that God has forgiven you or maybe you need to take that important step of trusting God for forgiveness and salvation. If so, and no matter where you need the help, there is someone who can and will help you. All you need to do is ask. But don’t think that you can do it all alone; iron sharpens iron.
A wise man once told me that you only need to be one step ahead to lead. Lead others to help them lead others. If you don’t know where to go, ask for directions. But please, do what it takes to find your way to God and continue growing closer to Him. He is waiting to meet you and desires a relationship with you.

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January 18, 2012

It Is Forgiven

by pastortimfowler

I am winding down the work week with anticipation of my wife and I leaving this Saturday for our first ever cruise. It couldn’t come at a better time. Last week I told you that I wrecked my truck, well last night, my wife had a deer run into the side of her van. Add that to the cruise ship running aground in Italy and we are excited and ready to go. The way we look at it, the odds are in our favor that things will mellow out just in time for our vacation.
With two claims in one week, I was sure that my insurance premiums would be ready to go through the roof. So I went in to talk to my agent and she told me the deer thing was under comprehension, which is not charged against you and my wipe out in the truck was not going to cost me either because I had accident forgiveness on my policy. Finally a bit of good news in a week that has been very stressful.
God has been very kind to me through all of this. On top of protecting me from injury, my truck is still 100% drivable. Although the wife’s van has quite the dent in the doors and fender, , she and my grandson were not hurt and the van is also 100% drivable. Because both vehicles are paid for, I was able to save a little money for the repair of my truck to take on our upcoming cruise, of which I will treat my beautiful wife to a day at the spa and some unexpected shopping. Yep, I give God credit for that too, because He wants me to love my wife and treat her special. Let’s face it ladies, nothing says special like a spa day and shopping.
God also allowed us to not have our budget wrecked from all of this. He is in control of everything, including our finances. We try hard to save and to give and to live within the means of the income He has allowed us to have. That is why we have a written budget that we manage our money by. It allows us to see where our money goes and to use it within the guidelines of scripture. A bump in our insurance premiums would throw that our of whack, and although we could adjust and survive, this accident forgiveness really helps keep things from getting complicated.
I want to confess something that may seem awkward, but I hope that you get the point from what I am about to say. When I wrecked my truck, it caused me some stress and I began to get irritable and even lost my cool with my wife. Not godly. Then when she got hit by the deer, I began to doubt God’s protection of us. Not godly. My wife is a saint. She does not deserve me getting ill with her because I am stressed and she always understands and forgives. God is awesome to me. I have my wife, kids, grandkids, and an incredible church, not to mention my health, her health, their health and the Gamecocks beating Clemson. Despite all of that, I still screw up, and when I do, just like my accident forgiveness that doesn’t cost me, God forgives me and my sins, when I confess them, and they no longer cost me. Jesus paid that debt in full, and every time I forget and mess things up, I get that relief when I talk to my Agent, Jesus, to let him know about another accident, and He says, not a problem. You’re covered. It is forgiven.