Posts tagged ‘patient’

August 10, 2012

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

by pastortimfowler

Should I stay or should I go?

I love, absolutely love, being a pastor. I get to see people grow and change and learn to be servants. I get to share God’s love with people and see the fruits of my labor. I have been blessed to have a church full of people who are passionate about what has happened to them and are sharing it with others. Even when I think that I want to pull my hair out, and for those who know me, that means things are really stressful and weird, I still love what I do.
This past few weeks has been both stressful and weird. On top of funerals, surgeries, and the other everyday stuff a pastor can deal with, I have been dealing with getting use to having an international student in my house. He is a great kid, so far, and I will get used to having a teenager in my house again, I hope, but this is quite an adjustment for me. I am a creature of habit and don’t mind having a routine that rarely changes. When it does, I have to think that God is trying to teach me something, or, He has decided to show me a sick sense of humor.
In the last couple of weeks I have had a few people tell me the they think that God wants them to leave our church. Before some of you panic, this is not uncommon. I think about leaving at least three of four times a week, and that is in a good week. The reason people tell me that God may want them to leave our church is because they feel like they are not getting along with someone or that things are changing and they don’t like it. I want to address those two reasons for a minute.
First, if there are people who you are not getting along with, consider that God may want you to change something about you, like patience, instead of changing churches, after all, love is patient. Sure I know that most of you are perfect and have no need for change in your own lives, but there are a few who need to learn that God often puts us around people who are different to get us to love those who we don’t like. Luke 6:27, But I tell everyone who is listening: Love your enemies. Be kind to those who hate you. If you are attending a church in hopes of liking everyone you are going to be disappointed. Our command is to love people, not like them. Being the new kid on the block only lasts for a while and then reality sets in. You will find people who disagree and maybe even disappoint you. Those are the ones who challenge you to be more like Jesus, who by the way, does not like everything we do either, yet still loves us. We are not put into the church to be liked or to like everyone. We are put here to serve God and bring Him glory. I am sure glad Jesus did not walk away when He found out someone did not like Him.
Second, is the change thing. Change is always going to make some people uncomfortable. But think about this; if nothing ever changes in church, people are not getting to know Jesus. I would like to offer this suggestion. Rather than getting upset about change, get upset about the status quo. Get upset when you do the same thing week in and week out and never get comfortable with the way things are. The Pharisees got upset because Jesus changed the way they had always done things. Those were the religious guys and the ones who the church way to often resembles. Yet it was their lack of change that had Jesus nailed to the cross. I am very glad that Jesus changed things or I would still be headed to hell. Change is a good thing. Perhaps instead of leaving to find a church that stays the same, you should look and see if it is you that needs to change. I know that I have to evaluate how to change on a daily basis.
Changing the church you attend is often needed. I am not so naive as to think that everyone should stay in the same place all the time. I have changed churches a few times myself. I did know that there was a specific purpose for my change and that it was God that wanted me to go elsewhere and not my own pride or selfishness. But to change churches for the two reasons above is often just that, prideful and selfish. Solving problems instead of running from them helps us to grow and to understand the heart of God better.
If you need to go, I give you my blessing. You will know it is God when you have complete peace about it and can tell anyone who asks the reason without fear or confusion. Fear and confusion are not from God. The very best servants of God, like Paul and Barnabas, left churches to serve elsewhere. Sometimes the best are needed somewhere else to help others grow. That is part of God’s plan and design and I am all for that.
Meanwhile, don’t let Satan cause you to leave where God is working, and He is working at our church. People are coming to know Jesus as Savior every week and others are growing and learning to serve others to help them be more like Christ. Satan is a liar and a punk. He loves complacent churches where nothing ever changes and people rarely get saved. He loves it when we get focused on ourselves and forget that we should be helping others. Jesus said that in this world we would have trouble. He said that people would dislike us and that we should never grow weary of doing what is right. Doing what is right is not always easy. Doing what is wrong often is. Think about it.

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April 27, 2012

Inferiority Holds You Captive?

by pastortimfowler

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/rubyblossom/4299889293/

This was a subject given the other day when I asked for blog ideas. It is difficult to keep this short and yet get the point across but I will try.
I am not sure if this is all bad. One of the qualities of a person who believes that they are inferior is that they are usually humble. Humility is a wonderful Christian asset and often is very hard for people who always feel confident. But I do think that there are some things that the Bible says about this and maybe this will shed a little light.
Let’s look at Moses. When He met God through the burning bush, he was told that he would be the one to deliver God’s message to Pharaoh. Moses immediately responded that he could not do it because he wasn’t good enough due to poor speech, afraid people would think he was a liar, and overall just afraid. If anyone in the Bible had an inferiority complex it was Moses. Yet he turned out to be one of the most influential people in history.
The Bible says that we were not given the spirit of fear, but of peace, love,and a sound mind. A sound mind, (and this is not saying if you feel this way that you are crazy), is the ability to think clearly because God gives us wisdom and we have faith in God. Moses was not using a sound mind when he argued with God that he could not do what God asked him to do. But God is patient and continued to overcome Moses inferior objections. Ultimately Moses had the faith to not only go to Pharaoh, but to lead his people for 40 years with God’s guidance.
The only person that the Christian is inferior too is God. We must remember, with humility, that a we are children of the King of Kings, the Lord of all creation, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
The captivity of a feeling of inferiority is only a tool of Satan who would have us do anything other than listen to God. Jesus said, “With God, all things are possible.” Satan would say, “You can’t do what God expects of you. You are just not good enough.” Satan wants us to believe that we aren’t good enough and that God can’t or won’t use us.
We are not deserving of salvation and we can’t be good enough. We are saved because of God’s mercy and love for us. After salvation, we are co laborers with God to build His church. He equips us and gives us everything we need to be successful. We need humility to keep us from thinking that we are better than anyone else just because we are Christians, but never need to feel inferior, because Jesus said that all power and authority was given to Him and He is the one who empowers us.
We are no longer people in bondage, no matter who we are or what our personal hang ups are.
John 8:36So if the Son sets you free, you will be absolutely free.

August 18, 2011

Doctor’s visit

by pastortimfowler

My wife and I are among the many who do not have health insurance. Because of this we do not go to the doctor very often. Even when we had insurance, years ago, we did not go that often. I hear people complain all the time about how much their out-of-pocket expenses are even with insurance and have to fight back the laughter. They are complaining about paying $20-50 in co pays for an office visit and we just paid a lot more than that. Even at ten times what your deductible is, this visit was cheaper without insurance. How? Because you are paying for your insurance every paycheck whether you go to the doctor or not.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have insurance for when something major happens. But for regular illness and injury stuff, I had just as soon pay them out-of-pocket. At least then I can negotiate and ask for options without an insurance company to tell me what I have to do.
So you are probably thinking that I don’t like insurance companies. Wrong. I could care less about them. What I don’t like is how people think that insurance is such a great deal and use it all the time. If more people would quit using insurance to cover colds and sniffles and bumps and bruises, all of our medical costs would go down, and the cost of insurance would too. Doctors can’t cure the common cold, make a bruise or pulled muscle heal any faster or prevent you from ever getting sick or injured. With the way people flood the doctors with trivial stuff that would get better on its own, doctors spend far less time than they need to on the big issues that require their services. I wonder how much better attention a patient with a major illness would get if the doctor had not just treated 10 snotty nosed kids who have a cold.
God made our bodies to be amazingly resilient. They can and do fight of all sorts of germs and viruses. They can mend cuts, tears, and bruises. They learn to make defenses against the germs that make us sick and do an incredible job at it, without the aid of a doctor. Believe it or not, most pills only help the symptoms not heal the problem. Sure they can aid in the work that you body does, but rarely do you get better any faster.
I do believe in some preventive medicine. Immunizations are great at keeping us safe from some pretty nasty stuff. Eating well and exercising are good to maintain a healthy weight and fend off illnesses cause by being overweight. Doctors are experts at spotting certain things that can be stopped early, like cancers, and as we age there are things they can help monitor in order to begin treatment as soon as possible to extend our life expectancy.
My point of this is in hopes of people getting back to some common sense living. Insurance companies are not evil. They do not exist to offer us the cheapest possible medical care possible. The exist to make money. That is what companies do in America. If companies don’t make money, you don’t have a job. Making money is not wrong and we can’t blame insurance companies for it either. If you don’t want them to make so much money, quit using them so much. Cut back on coverage. Pay for more stuff out-of-pocket. Let you body and your kid’s bodies heal themselves like God designed them to do.
Can you imagine what it would be like if we used car insurance like we use our health insurance? If every time we were due for an oil change, we filed a claim, flat tire, file a claim, wiper blades, file a claim. No one would be able to afford auto insurance and those who didn’t have it would pay outrageous prices for what is now very common procedures, or not get them done at all.
Thankfully, my wife’s appointment went fairly well. She had a few minor issues, a few screws loose, (haha), and got a few prescriptions. We have the money in the bank, or had it there, and we have found that we both could lose a few pounds, so not eating every other day will help there since the money is now gone. This was a needed visit though and I am glad that we did not have to have insurance just so she could go.
There was a day when our moms would give us some soup and juice and a warm blanket and love us through the sniffles. She would put a band-aid on the cut after she boiled it out with peroxide and we rarely saw the doctor. Maybe we need to return to some of that and quit having so many trips to the doctor’s office.

March 4, 2011

Love who? How?

by pastortimfowler

I was listening to an oldies station the other day and got upset that it was called an oldies station because these were the songs that I grew up with. Oldies were supposed to be the songs mom and dad use to listen to, right? Anyway, there were a lot of songs about love and some weird ideas of what love is. One song said that if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. I got to thinking about this and it made me reconsider a few things.

I think that this would be a great title for a song about Jesus. He said that we should love even our enemies. He said that He was going to have to go away and that we, his church should love those around us with the same love that he loves us. So, if we can’t be with him, Jesus, (the one we love), then we should love the one we’re with.
His kind of love is not the sexual, sensual love that most songs are about, instead it is real. The world’s definition of love can range from warm fuzzy feelings to having sex with someone and a wide range of stuff in between. But the Bible tells us that love is patient, kind, giving, not-self centered, doesn’t hold grudges and such. It is really hard even love the ones we’re with that way much less love those we had rather not be around.
Funny that the first description of love is patience. This is found in 1Corinthians 13 by the way. Patience is what is lacking in our society. We are told that we deserve everything and deserve it now. No waiting, just instant gratification. When you really love someone we all know that no one really changes over night and therefore patience is needed. Patience allows us to continue to give our heart to someone who hasn’t given theirs yet. And I am talking about those that we are with, in a loving relationship.
But for us to love those whom we don’t want to be with, strangers, belligerent co workers, backstabbers and such, we must really be patient. We must realize that God is in control and He loves even our worst enemies enough to give His Son to die in our place.
Patience, kindness, and selflessness are the beginning of showing others God’s love so that they may see that these were the steps of love that He took for us.
If you love Jesus, you can’t be with the one you love, Jesus, (right now), then love the one you’re with. Love them with Christ’s love, no matter who they are, friend or foe.