Posts tagged ‘pride’

September 27, 2012

27 September, 2012 16:01

by pastortimfowler

Berkeley Bowl Cash Registers

My friend told me the other day about how he wanted to yell at someone in Walmart who was supposed to be working there but kept ignoring him and treating him as if he were in the way. I have blogged about my thoughts on customer service before and I feel his pain. I was at a sporting goods store today and there was one person working the register as 8 people were waiting to check out. Meanwhile there was a girl at the door greeting, or should I say supposed to be greeting, customers as they walked in. The two girls were talking to each other and even taking phone calls as we, the customers, waited. I began to frown.
We often say silly things like, “I wanted to slap them” or “I wanted to yell at them” when we are in these situations. We are conditioned to think that we should respond to a bad situation with something equally as bad. After all, don’t they deserve it? This sounds like the correct response, but if you are a Christian, it is not the right response at all. Romans 12:17- Don’t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you. Focus your thoughts on those things that are considered noble.
If I had a dollar for every time that I heard a Christian say that they were justified by getting even with someone for what they had done, I would be a rich man. When I remind them about the verse above they often respond with, “But you don’t know what they did to me.” No I don’t, but I do know what Christ did for us and it was not giving us what we deserve. Need I remind you that in the same book of Romans we are told that what we deserve for our sin is death. God loves us and gives us forgiveness and life though. This surely is not what we deserve. I know that some of you were not as bad as I use to be, and can still be, and you may be thinking that you don’t deserve death for your sin, but none are righteous, not even one.
Arrogance and pride are what cause us to think that we should pay others back for not being as nice to us as we think they should be. The idea that if we were in a position to pass out judgement for things that others do and we would be completely righteous in our verdicts is quite funny. When we are rude or short with others, do we deserve a slap? Of course not. We are not as bad as that other person. Here is the problem with that thinking. When it comes to righteous judgement, only God can do that. He will use the standard of how you compare to Jesus and not how others compare to you or me. When that standard is applied, we all fall short. That is why God offers complete forgiveness when we ask and does not give us what we deserve until we face our final judgement and have rejected His Son’s payment for our sins.
So the next time you are in line and get treated worse than you expect to be, or the next time that someone really wrongs you and you think about revenge, think about what God does for us and decide to be more like Jesus than like, well, me.
Now excuse me while I go back to the sporting goods store and smile about the fact that I am fully able to stand in line and wait. That is a blessing that some are not able to do. Ain’t God good?

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!

December 21, 2011

Christmas Giving

by pastortimfowler

Christmas is a strange time of year. It is the time when most people are the most joyful, and at the same time it can be a time when they are at their lowest. It is a time of giving and receiving and spending time with family and friends. This is the time when we celebrate the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. I would like to share what I get to be a part of every year at my church and I will try to remain as humble as possible, but at the same time I am running over with pride.
We are a medium-sized church of about 150 people and this number changes, lately it has been increasing. We reach a unique group of people, mostly young families and people who do not fit the typical “churchy” crowd. Like their pastor, many of these have been turned off by religion at one time or another and even hurt by the politics that often ruins what church should be. But for whatever reason, God has seen fit to bring us together under the roof of a building and in a church family called The Body, A Church for Anybody.
With the economy being as bad as it is, we find ourselves in fellowship with several families that are struggling to make ends meet and because these are families with kids, it is a difficult time to celebrate Christmas when some may not be able to give gifts to their kids. Giving gifts is a custom of the season that allows us to escape the reality of hard times and focus on putting a smile on the face of children, but when you lose a job or income gets cut, it can be difficult to make this happen on your own. Without a second thought, the people in our church have taken to the spirit of giving and made sure that these kids smile on Christmas morning. There are 5 families that will be blessed by receiving, but probably 20 more that will be blessed by Christmas giving.
One family told me today that they sacrificed giving their adult children gifts, with those adult children’s blessings, in order to provide for another family with children who still live at home. They took the $100 that they would normally spend for those gifts and bought for someone else. Today I was told that they received an unexpected bonus from work that doubled that amount. You just can’t help but think that God was showing how much He likes Christmas giving too.
On Christmas day, we will gather for a morning worship and after church several of us are going out to a restaurant that is open to sing a Christmas Carol and give a gift to those who are working. As grateful as they must be to have a job, it has to be tough to work on Christmas day. So we have been collecting “tips” for about two months now for the purpose of giving to those who are waiting tables and serving others on Christmas day a bit of Christmas cheer that will hopefully make their Christmas sacrifice well worth it. We have chosen a restaurant that only has 5 or 6 people who are working that day and because of the generosity of the people in my church, each person who is working will receive a Christmas card with over $100 in it.
Again, it is hard to be humble when you talk about something that you are involved in, but I am blown away by the love of the people who I serve at this church and it does truly humble me to know them. They love others and show it through their actions and the biggest action this time of year is in their Christmas giving. I love it!!!
Merry Christmas!

May 20, 2011

They Get It

by pastortimfowler

I will be brief with this blog today, although I should or could go on for quite a while. Over the last few weeks, our church has had many challenges that could have caused heartache in many ways. There have been needs from individuals and needs for the building and spiritual needs as well. All of which have been met and or exceeded.
When stuff like this happens, I have to hold back the pride that swells up in me. I know many pastors who would love to have half of the response to these situations that we went through. They are not unique to us but certainly do hit home for any church that experiences struggles of different sorts.
I consider myself to be extremely blessed as a pastor. Teaching what the Bible expects Christians to be can be fun and rewarding, but it can also be frustrating. Human nature wants us to be selfish. We have the desire to look out for ourselves first and think of the needs of others if we have anything left. But not the folks of The Body. They have taken the idea that God gives and so we should too and ran with it. They have stepped up and stepped out in faith to do things that might have been considered to difficult to accomplish if nothing else, for now.
Jesus said the greatest on earth will be the servants. He set the bar high and led by example. Many in our church who have stepped up and met these needs have only been Christians for a short time, yet they have achieved a level of greatness that many take years, if ever to get. They serve in ways the make me humble as a fellow servant and proud as a pastor that will one day give an account for them. I know that we are far from perfect, but I do believe that we are great in the way Jesus meant.
Sure, we have a long way to go and I will be foolish to think that something else won’t come up. It would be crazy to think that someone somehow will get prideful and selfish, and I am sure that we will drop the ball from time to time. But we will learn and grow and continue to serve Jesus and we serve others.
Thanks to the great people at The Body. They get it!