Posts tagged ‘Precious’

October 22, 2012

It Hurts

by pastortimfowler

You are Joy, Luisa!

It would be great to live in a world where there was no pain; physical, mental, or emotional. But if that were the case, would we learn anything about how precious life is? I write today from the point of view of a person who has lived with constant back pain for years. I have mentioned it from time to time before, mainly because I like the pity, but it has yet to yield someone to cut my grass for me. Life stinks, huh? And I am grateful to have a yard to cut.
To be honest, life does not stink and I think pain helps us to know this. I think if we will let our pain remind us of how precious it is not to have pain, we will be more grateful of those things that are void of pain. This past weekend I took my grandson camping and really enjoyed the time spent with him. But I found myself telling everyone how much pain I was in rather than how much fun I had. I should have been encouraging others to spend time with the ones they love instead of giving them excuses as to not do something that may cause pain. For that, I apologize.
Pain is a part of life. It is a teacher of what not to do. It is a motivator to push harder to accomplish a task. And it is a tool to remind us what is really important. You see this morning I was sitting at my house, in pain, and did not go into my office. There are other reasons that kept me home, but it started with pain. As I struggle to get my socks on, the pain reminded me of how grateful I was of slip on shoes. But as I sat there planning a pity party, I was reminded of a time when I could do about any physical activity and it did not hurt. As I reminisced about those days, I was nudged, I think by God, to think, “When was the last time you said thanks for all of those days of no pain?” As I thought about this, I realized that I had far more days in this life without pain than with it. I had been able to do more than many would ever hope to do. It wasn’t until recently that even the pain had put a limit on my activities. So I said thanks and took some Advil.
Here are some times in my life that pain made me remember the good and then I will sum thing up and quit bothering you today.
My mom died of cancer many years ago. It was a long battle and if you know anything about cancer, it is painful. But mom had a unique way of taking my mind off of her physical pain and mine emotional pain. She would break out old pictures of the kids growing up and we would laugh and remember the good times. I can’t remember ever sitting with my mom and hearing her complain about the pain. I could see it in her face and eyes and the way she moved, but never in her heart. She always saw the opportunity to remember the good stuff. So when she died, my last years with her were not filled with dread and sorrow, but of joyful memories and laughter. Her pain was beautifully used by God to show His grace in the toughest of times.
My dad died of heart failure. We did not have a good relationship and it was hard to get that phone call about his death when I had not talked to him in months. But, we did what all families do, we gathered to say good-bye and some began to argue over what stuff of dad’s they wanted. As this was happening, I looked on the wall over my dad’s chair and there was a picture of him and me. I had it bronzed and gave it too him when I was in the Navy. I was 4 years old and we were standing together with golf clubs in our hands and under it I had an inscription that said, “worlds greatest golfer and his dad.” It took me back to all the great things my dad was and I forgot all about the bad things that made me have so much emotional pain. In this moment of grief, God showed me that years ago He was preparing me to be the type of dad and granddad that I had become. He was giving me joy to over-ride the pain and memories that over-rode bitterness.
Recently, and I blogged about this, my dog died. It seems a bit unmanly to say that it really hurt and I cried when she died in my arms. But she was very special. I got her when I was going through a tough time in my life. I had never had a dog that I raised, it was always the family dog and I was never much of an animal lover. But she stole my heart and in the days after her death, I began to look for pictures of her. Every time I found one it was a moment of joy and happiness. I began to laugh and smile, even through the pain.
So this morning I was reminded to look for joy while the pain is there. Pain does not end joy nor does it take away good memories. Pain is not evil, it is a part of life. And life is a gift from God. This life has so many wonderful things to offer. Camping with my grandson is one of those and I was just looking at all the pictures I took this weekend to remind me. No, the pain in my back did not go away, but it was not bad enough to stop the smiles.
Jesus knows what pain is. He took a lot of pain to save humanity from our sins. His pain was physical, mental, and emotional. But through it all He never forgot the love that drove Him through the pain and to the cross. It was through that pain that we are forgiven if we believe. It is through that pain that we have hope of a life to come where pain is no longer a part of it all. But that hope and that future joy should only be a part of our focus because in this life, we have so much to bring us joy and share love with.

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April 10, 2012

Most Precious

by pastortimfowler

www.flickr.com/photos/tonivc/2283676770

Today I was having lunch with my favorite wife and a friend from church and the friend asked me to blog about a subject that her husband’s Bible study was discussing the other day. The lesson was about giving from what is most precious to you. Then she asked me what was most precious to me. We were eating at Taco Bell and I was trying to enjoy my taco but they kept wanting to know my most precious possession. I was in a no win situation because my wife was there. If I had said that she was my favorite possession then someone would get mad and say that I don’t own her, if I had said something else, she would have got mad. So I ate my taco.
The lesson that she was talking about was trying to get the point across that we need to give from our hearts and not from things that don’t mean anything to us. God gave us Jesus, His most precious possession, and He did it because of His great love for us. Most of what we see given in churches are what we happen to find in our pockets as the offering plate is passed around, unless we look and see that it is more than a couple of dollars then we tell God that we will owe Him.
My wife gives from her heart all the time. She loves children. In an earlier blog I told you that she is an addict when it comes to little kids. She gives them her very best all the time. It makes me jealous from time to time. I see the kids getting anything that they ask for and when I ask for something she tells me I don’t need it. Everybody needs cake. She gives to the church all the time. There is not much that happens there that she is not involved in. Not only does she love kids, but she loves regular people too and gives to them. She gives to her work. Professionalism in the dictionary has her picture as the definition. And yes, she gives to me, but I don’t want to go into details about how or what. My wife is so giving that she tried to give the people who take out the trash at Taco Bell her van. She tossed her keys in there as she was leaving.
I like the way Taco Bell gives. With a regular combo you get a large drink. Not like you need it, but then you get free refills. They give away the taco sauce in is the little packets too. I don’t use them, but I see people loading their hands with them. I think they take them home and make soup out of them. My favorite is the peppermints that they give away. Its like desert after a taco meal.
Giving from what is precious to us is hard to do. We like to hold things more closely if they are important to us. So to answer the question of what is most precious to me…I don’t really know. I don’t like to hold on to stuff. I get told that I don’t care about money. I like to give it away and I like to spend it. I don’t care about clothes. Jeans and a t-shirt are fine with me and if you need mine, you can have them. God has given me a great life and a great family, but I know that they really belong to Him, so I let God decide where they are given.
If I had to say what I hold most precious, I guess it would have to be my time. I realize that I only have a certain amount and after that, I get no more. I don’t own my time, but I own what I do with it. I find it most difficult to give the time that I have chosen to do something for me to someone else who needs my help. But, I get the greatest reward from knowing that when I do give it away, someone else’s time on earth is made better.
With the time I have, God allows me to fill it with a beautiful wife, wonderful children and grandchildren, and a church family that is most incredible. He allows me to preach and teach the Bible as my vocation and I don’t have to punch a time clock. I never get tired of working for Him. My only struggle is when I want my time to be mine and it gets interrupted. That is why I think that it is my most precious possession. So I try to give it away despite what I feel, and I never get disappointed in the results.