Posts tagged ‘power’

February 7, 2013

Who, Me?

by pastortimfowler

moses

In Exodus We meet Moses. I would never have hired Moses to do what God wanted him to do. I mean, he was going to represent God to royalty and this guy was a convicted murderer and, by his own admission, a lousy communicator. He flat-out said that he didn’t want the job, so who in their right mind would hire someone like that? God.
I love God’s response to Moses when he was telling God how he could not talk well. Exodus 4:11-12 …11 The LORD asked him, “Who gave humans their mouths? Who makes humans unable to talk or hear? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? It is I, the LORD! 12 Now go, and I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
Notice God did not say, “Oh never mind. I will find someone else.” Instead He reminded Moses of who He is and assured Moses that He would help. God wants to help us. He knows our faults and knows our fears. He knows us. And, what He wants of us is to know Him. When we know Him we know His power and compassion and we can overcome what we think is disqualifying. My old pastor use to tell me that God does not call the worthy, but He does make worthy the called.
Way too often I hear people say that God can’t or won’t use them and I remind them of the story of Moses. I remind them that God gives us the power to overcome all of our flaws. He knows that we are needy and God has what we need. Grace and forgiveness and power. I know these things well because I to am not worthy or able to do what He has called me to do. But with God all things are possible. Even for someone like me, a totally unworthy and failing man who God called to lead and incredible church for what God wants to do.
So when God calls you, don’t think that He has made a mistake. He knows who you are and you don’t need to ask, Who, me? Because just like I would have never hired Moses, Moses would have never hired me. But God did. He will hire you too if you let Him.

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October 3, 2012

Dead Car Batteries

by pastortimfowler

Car Battery

This morning I was told that my wife’s car would not start. It had been hard to start for a week or so now and we have been putting off the inevitable of buying a new battery. It’s funny that every time something goes wrong with your car that you think the worst and my wife does this well. She said, “I hope it’s not the alternator”. I am not sure if she really knows what the alternator is or does, but it sounds worse than a dead battery. But this got me thinking about our spiritual lives and I thought I would draw out this analogy.
A car’s electrical system is a lot like our spiritual life. It is all tied together and certain things can make us unable to run and in some cases even unable to start.
The battery is our free will. Although it comes fully charged, unless it is in a car that is fully functional, it is nothing but a bunch of useless chemicals. Put it in a car that is fully functional and it becomes a major part of the car’s ability to function. But of itself, the battery has no power at all. It must be charged in order for it to come to life. The factory puts the charge on the battery, but unless something is available to continually charge it, it dies.
The car has a charging system and the alternator is that which provides power to the car when it is running and charges the battery so it stays fully charged and able to start the car. This is our relationship with God or God’s will. The battery starts the car, then the alternator takes over. If you tried to run the car without the alternator, the battery would soon die and the car would cut off and not start again. So the alternator is what really provides power to the functioning car. The battery is only the starting power and the alternator is the staying power.
Our free will as Christians is constantly used to try to start our Christian life each day. That is a hard task and takes lots of power. If our spiritual batteries are not fully charged, sooner or later we will not get started at all with what God wants from us. Our free will must constantly be given over to the power and will of God in order for us to continue running as intended. It is then that we take the load off of our own abilities to function as designed and allow God to be the driving force.
As long as the car is running, even if the battery is dead or taken out of the car, the car will still run because the alternator is providing all the power. But when you cut the car off, and we all have to do this from time to time, the dead battery makes it impossible to get started again without something happening.
Often the answer is what we did for the last couple of weeks. We just used jumper cables and got some starting power from another vehicle. Other Christians can do this and in cases where the battery was just drained due to leaving the lights on while the engine was off, it might be all that is needed. But do this too often and the battery will go bad and don’t forget that over time all batteries go bad. They just are not perfect, kinda like our free will.
In the case where the battery dies, it is easy for people to jump to the wrong conclusion and say that the alternator is bad. These things rarely go bad and in the case of God’s will, it never goes bad. But when we struggle as Christians, Satan is there to tell us that it is the worse case scenario. This is kinda like my wife’s thoughts…NO! I am not calling her Satan, it just works for this analogy. When that happens we can do a couple of things. Listen to your husband, the wise Christian, to tell you that it is not as bad as you think. Getting godly council is like listening to someone who knows cars. They can help calm you down when Satan attacks with his lies.
But every car comes with an owner’s manual and they often give some very simple troubleshooting tips. In this case, the owner’s manual would say that the most likely problem is the battery. The Bible, our owners manual, will tell you that our free will is most often the problem to our challenges in life. Every now and then, we need to replace the battery. When we need to replace the battery, we go to the parts store and tell the person that we have a problem and need a new battery. If we go there and tell them that we don’t have a problem, they can’t fix it. So the obvious must be stated. This is our prayer life and God is the person to fix our dead battery.
We must confess our sins. 1John 1:9 says. If we confess our sins, God is faith and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Unrighteousness is our free will. Forgiveness is God’s will. When God replaces our will with His will, we can begin to start our days again without the whining and groaning of a dead or dying battery. Remember this, the quicker a car starts, the sooner it runs off the alternator’s power and stops draining the battery.
There is nothing wrong with replacing a battery. It must be done from time to time. Free will is the same way, it can work for a while to do God’s work, but even under the best conditions we must replace it from time to time. Dead car batteries are powerless. Dead free will is too. God’s will is the life-giving power to keep our free will full of power.

August 15, 2012

Back In The Day

by pastortimfowler

Phaser Stylee Telly Remote

So as you know, I watch a lot of TV. Okay, let me restate that; I am in the room where a TV is playing a lot. I pick up on weird things that are said and trends in advertising and especially love commercials and stuff like Pawn Stars and American Pickers. I have noticed that there is a term that is being used all the time now on many of these shows; “back in the day”. I know what it means and understand how it can be used in the shows like I just mentioned, but it gets to be annoying after you here is several times in a show. When they get an old item that is interesting they will say, “Back in the day, people use to…”
So yesterday I had my “back in the day” moment. The worst thing that can happen to a modern man, short of losing his I-phone, happened to me. My HDTV went out. It had been acting up for the last couple of weeks and I knew it was bound to happen, but it always comes as a shock when you press the remote power button and nothing happens. My mind immediately raced to the possibility of getting a new one, but then it raced to my wallet only to find it was lacking funds for a new one. So I had to start thinking about what to do next. So…
Back in the day, I use to work on TV’s. It was nothing for me to open the back of one and pull out my meters and troubleshoot the problem down to a component and then replace it. So I grabbed my tool box that had no meters in it, and pulled out my Phillips head screwdriver and began to open the back of my HDTV. Once inside I saw the beautiful new digital circuit boards and realized that I had best remember that I worked on a different style of TV, back in the day.
I then went to my computer and googled trouble shooting HDTV’s and found a consensus that it was probably the power supply board and that I could order one for much less than I could buy a new HDTV and the cost of the board was closer to what was in my wallet too. So I placed the order online, which is something that I never did back in the day, and sat down to stare at a blank screen on my HDTV. Since the part I ordered was going to take 3-5 days to be delivered, I found myself with another dilemma; what the heck was I going to do about watching Pawn Stars for the next 3-5 days?
Suddenly I remembered that we had put an old TV in the room where the grand-kids were supposed to play their video games but never do because the Wii is hooked up to my HDTV. It still worked and although it was not HDTV, it was at least something that would have a picture and fill the room with sounds of people bartering for trivial items that they no longer wanted. So I unplugged it and carried it into the room and hooked it up and sat down with the remote and pressed the power button. Nothing happened. Of course, back in the day, that TV had its own remote and the one I was trying to use was for my HDTV and it was not the same thing. So I got up and walked across the room and pushed the power button on the front of the TV and lo and behold, it came on. So I sat down and grabbed the remote and began to change channels only to find that this same remote that would not power the TV on, would also not change the channels. So I got up and walked across the room and pressed another button on the front of the TV and found something to watch. Pawn Stars was not on.
Back in the day, we use to have to get up and walk across the room to adjust everything on a TV. This sucks. I wish we had bought a smaller house back in the day now. Perhaps one that was so small the TV sat right next to my recliner. Then I wouldn’t have to get up to turn the TV on or turn to another station. Then, I was ready to go to bed and grabbed the remote to turn off the TV and guess what? Back in the day, we had to get up and walk across the room to turn the TV off.
Back in the day, that was the best TV money could buy. But today the picture quality is horrible. Back in the day, we had a remote that worked for it but now I think it has been taken on to TV heaven. I can’t wait to get my new power supply board and have my HDTV working again. I will sit back with my remote and turn it on and change the channel and watch Pawn Stars and when it is time for bed I will remotely turn it off from the comfort of my recliner and remember that time, back in the day, when I had to get up and walk across the room to turn it on, off, and change channels. Some things just need to stay, back in the day.

June 8, 2012

What’s New?

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrentunnicliff/3717968862/

Change is a natural part of life and yet so many people fear and even loath change. If change never happened, we would spend much of our lives beating on vending machines…get it? Change? Vending Machines? I kill me. But seriously, change gives us butterflies, frogs, ice, and a new diaper.
Recently my wife has been feeling like it is time to change. No, not husbands. No need to lower her standards. Her job has been a real pain in the neck and even a few months before the recent stretch of difficult times in her office, we have been talking about how perhaps God was leading her to go elsewhere.
Changing jobs can be quite nerve-racking in the best of times, but throw into the mix a bad job market and it gets even more difficult. But when my wife told me that she had turned in her two weeks notice, she said that she felt peace about it. I knew then that she was hearing from God. The Bible tells us that God gives us peace in difficult times as a way of knowing that we can trust Him. I know my wife is a woman who prays about things and listens to God for direction. This is no different.
There have been many times through the years that we have had to make tough decisions about jobs that did not make the most sense to some at the time it happened. Early in my ministry I also ran my own VCR repair business. Yep, I said VCR. It was during the time in my ministry when I was only getting part-time pay as a youth pastor and was feeling like I was not being effective in my ministry. At the same time I had an opportunity to expand my business to become a part of a national company and the money part of it was quite awesome. In the same week I learned that the church was cutting my part-time salary and that God, through my prayer life was telling me to close my business; you know, the one that just showed promise of a national account. But I had been asking God to make something happen and that I would trust Him when he did. I had peace about my decision and my wife supported me, so I closed the business and within a week was called to interview for my first full-time pastorate.
I had never thought about moving from the town we lived in. It was home and it was where my church was and all was fine. I had been at my church for almost 4 years and it was growing. But in my prayer time I felt like God was telling me that another change was coming. Within a few months there were things that happened that caused me to resign from my church and spend almost a year not being a pastor of any church. It was one of the toughest things I had ever done, but I knew it was right. One day I got a call from a church in the town I currently live in wanting to interview me for the pastor of their church. I had no intention of moving to another town and neither did my wife,but after the interview I had a peace about it that I couldn’t understand and within a month the move was on.
My wife was an executive at a major cellular company. It was a job that most people only dream of and the financial part of it was incredible. But shortly after taking the church, she began to feel like she needed to leave the company. Although we both knew that this meant dramatic financial cuts, we also knew that God was behind it because we both felt a peace about it. So she took early retirement and resigned. Because of that, she was able to work with me at the struggling church that hired me. We were leading it through bold changes and I needed her management skills like never before. Because she listened to God, we were able to lead the church through a change that resulted in the church that I currently pastor. This is a church where we are seeing people’s lives changed on a daily basis. It has grown from a church of barely 30 people who worshiped on Sunday morning to a place where over 150 people worship on Sunday morning. Not only that, but the amount of people who have gotten saved here is incredible. This all happened because of making tough decisions about changing jobs at weird times and trusting God instead of what logic says.
So I am excited to see what God has in store next for My wife and I. She has so many skills and gifts that can be used in so many ways that I am having a hard time imagining the awesome experience that is coming. Sure, there may be a few challenges along the way, but that is why God gives us the skills that we have and the peace that comes from His promise to provide all of our needs according to His riches in Glory!
Something new is on the way. I like new! I am made new by the power of God and what Christ did for me on the cross. In heaven, everything will be new all the time and that is hard to understand. So, new is good and new can only come with change. God says that He will change us into new creatures in Christ and lead us through the change every day. How can we go wrong. I am excited about what’s new!

July 12, 2011

I Need Your Prayers

by pastortimfowler

I feel very blessed to have people as wonderful as my church folks in my life. I have so little to complain about and even when I do have stuff I try to keep them under wraps. I am constantly reminded of how fortunate I am and I know that God has blessed me far more than I deserve. From time to time I get feeling overwhelmed at how awesome God is and how I deserve nothing as amazing as my life is.
It is hard to follow such statements as I just made with a prayer request, but I do need your prayers. For years I have suffered with chronic back pain. On good days the pain is like a that of a bad headache and on the worse days it is like having a knife lodged in my lower back that causes shooting pain if I move the wrong way. Normal days it is like a bad toothache and few things help to give any relief. It effects my sleep because being in any one position for too long hurts, so sleep is rarely more than an hour uninterrupted.
That said, I don’t want sympathy. I can function and have learned to accept it. But I do want your prayers because it sometimes wears me down and in times of spiritual battles and stressful situations this can be a challenge. Now is one of those times. There are many things happening that require my focus and Satan is masterful at taking advantage of our weakness. One thing he can’t defeat is the prayers of God’s people.
The Apostle Paul had a physical problem that He wrote about and God told him the His grace was sufficient. Paul accepted that and I do too. But Paul also knew the power of prayer and often asked for it from those he loved and was not ashamed to do so. Even Jesus asked for prayers in His moments of pain and stress. So I guess I have nothing to be ashamed about, I am in good company among those who have asked for prayer.
Usually, these things level off in a week or so, and I even have a vacation coming up next week. But in the mean time, if you be so kind as to pray for me, I would be grateful.
God is so awesome and He never gives us more than we can handle. We just need learn when to pass some stuff off to others and say, I need your prayers.

March 14, 2011

Melt Down

by pastortimfowler

It is almost impossible to turn on the news and not hear about the continuing struggles of the people of Japan. The pictures are horrifying and the task of cleaning up has to be overwhelming to those involved. On top of everything else that they are going through there is now a probable melt down of a nuclear reactor. This is a worst case scenario gone wild.
There is a tremendous fear of nuclear power because of this potential. But in reality, a place where few live and many never visit, the risks have been proven to be worth it for the 30 plus years that we have been using nuclear power as a producer of electricity. There have been very few incidents that have been of any real threat and it took an 8.9 earthquake and a 35 foot tsunami to cause the problem that exists right now.
So I am watching the news and I hear that the US government is wanting to put a moratorium on building anymore nuclear pants here in the US. One official gave the time frame of 30 years before we would be able to build one again. Couple that with the fact that we stopped all drilling for oil in the US due to one disaster in the gulf and I am remembering the words of candidate Obama who said that under his energy plan the cost of energy would necessarily skyrocket.
I am sorry but our economy is horrible, people can’t find jobs, it cost me nearly $70 to fill my truck the other day and some can’t afford to drive around to look for a job now. Add to that the fact that electricity bills were going up before the Japan incident and now they will rise even more now, and we aren’t even going to be able to afford to plug-in our electric cars that only allow us to drive up to 150 miles on a charge and take almost 8 hours to recharge.
Imagine if Thomas Edison was operating under the same conditions when he was building the light bulb and for every failure he had he was told to stop working on the project for 30 years. We would all still be in the dark. What if after the first automobile accident we decided to wait 30 years to build cars? We would still be riding horses. What if after every time your child wrecked on their bicycle we made them not ride again or if they missed a math problem we told them not to try anymore?
America is great because we looked failure in the eye and said “you will not keep us from achieving greatness.” Failure and accidents and even death are part of the risks of freedom and America. The biggest melt down that I worry about is the melt down of the American way of life that brought us through oppression, depression, and wars.
I thank God that after Jesus was wrongly convicted and crucified that his believers did not take the stance of politicians today. They did not decide that it was best to wait 30 years and study the cost and how and why a life was lost for the salvation of humanity. Even at the loss of many of their own lives they encouraged the preaching of the Gospel, no matter the risk or cost because the greater good justifies the sacrifice that was made.
Let’s stop having a melt down of sound thinking and put America on the path of greatness once again.
God bless America! PLEASE!