Posts tagged ‘problem’

September 18, 2012

Miraculas Faith

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62533788@N02/7846245072/

When was the last time you saw a miracle? For Christians, we talk about miracles all the time and do get a chance to see them. For the most part we see people healed who have no explanation, situations that seem hopeless, all of a sudden become blessings, or that relationship that was over is now mended. In our church we have seen babies born who were said would not be and a foot that was scheduled to be amputated due to diabetes suddenly turn pink and healthy, and we have seen our share of just totally unexplainable stuff that we give God credit for. But those things seem to, over time, fade in the level of excitement and we all but forget about them until someone like me brings them up as a reminder.
God is all-powerful and does do those type of miracles and more. But that is not what He wants us to focus on. From the beginning of time God has shown His miracle-working power and it has never held the people’s attention much longer than it took for the next problem to come up. But God did not and does not stop doing the impossible, only because He loves us and, I think there is part of it that goes without saying, if you could do those type things, you just would. What God wants us to focus on is His words. What God says should be as good to those who believe in Him as the miracles we give Him credit for. But trusting in God’s word is tough for us because some of what He says goes against our egos and our own desire to be rebellious.
One of the greatest miracles I have ever had happen to me was in my finances. We had begun to trust God’s word and what it says about giving, particularly tithing or giving 10% of our income. It wasn’t long after that time that we experienced a severe reduction in income. The first thought was to cut back on giving and pay our bills, but we remembered God’s instructions to believers about giving from the first of what we made and we decide to act in faith. If we did what God says do, then He has to honor what He says. Without going into a long story of details, let me just say that our finances were blessed. A miracle, I believe so, but most importantly, it was done because of faith in God’s word and His faithfulness to keep His word. I can tell you several other stories of how faithfulness on our behalf was honored by God acting like God and doing what we could not explain. Some may say that these are not true miracles but rather coincidences and I will only say that God is in control of those too.
My point is this. God has no obligation to do miracles as a reward for our good behavior nor does He have to do them to prove that He exists. God wants a relationship with people and miracles don’t make relationships stronger, trust does. God cannot be proven into existence. He has and always will exist. His miracles in the past did not bring people flocking to Him, His faithfulness did. And that relationship based on faith or trust is what opens the way for Him to do those mind-blowing things that we can’t explain. But if God never did another miracle, would you still trust Him? I would.
I would because I find nothing that He has ever said to be proven wrong. I find plenty that I don’t understand, but nothing wrong. I would because whenever God has said something and I acted on it, the results were exactly what His word says they would be. My marriage is stronger because I follow His guidelines for marriage. My friendships are stronger because I follow His guidelines for friendships. My children all turned out fine (Yes, I know that is open for debate if you know them), because we tried to raise them on God’s guidelines. My church is growing like crazy because we did away with all the bylaws and man’s laws and just started to following the Bible.
The biggest reason for my faith in God’s word is because week after week I see people who are hurting and messed up and just plain weird, decide to trust God for salvation and forgiveness and they in turn bring their friends who eventually have the same experience and so on. I know where I came from. I was not good enough for God to love me, I was so messed up that I was certain that there was no way He could love me, but He did anyway. He forgave me, accepted me, and was patient as I learned to trust Him through the years.
Truly the most miraculous thing about God is faith. If you haven’t seen a miracle, take a step of faith and trust God to forgive you. If you have seen a miracle, don’t forget about it, but look at how often the little things He promises never fail you and build on those. What God does for us is miraculous, but it is all an act of miraculous faith.

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March 20, 2012

Dogs and Sonar

by pastortimfowler

 

The city we live in is going through our neighborhood and getting rid of the above ground utilities and putting everything underground. For the last few weeks they have had our road down to a one lane road most of the day. Yesterday they were drilling under our yard and I just happened to be home when they started. There was a guy who had a portable sonar that he was using to detect water and sewage lines so that they did not drill through them as they buried the power lines. As he was walking toward our fence, our dogs began to bark and so I went outside to assist. The guy told me that he needed to walk through our yard to monitor the drilling and asked if the dogs would bite. I quickly said yes, but not if I am here. So I stood there as he slowly walked, following this drill that no one else could see. And he could only see what his instrument said was there, but he seemed to trust it.
I was in the Navy for 9 years and I understand sonar. It uses sound waves find objects that are either under water or under ground or in some cases, in a belly. It always amazes me how clear and detailed the pictures that can be gotten from using sonar. If you have ever seen the face of a baby in the mother’s womb, you are familiar with what I am talking about. But for whatever reason I was not confident in the device, especially as they were getting to close to my water and sewage lines.
Needless to say, my concerns were short-lived and they passed under our lines with no problems. My dogs held true to my statement that they would not bite while I was there and we still have a few more weeks of a one lane road. In the end we will not have poles with power lines running up and down our road and I am sure that everyone will be thrilled with that.
This morning I was thinking about this and it reminded me of this verse from the Bible: 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD told Samuel, “Don’t look at his appearance or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see. Humans look at outward appearances, but the LORD looks into the heart.” So many times we think that what we feel can’t be seen by anyone, but that is not true. God has the ability to see our hearts. No, I am not talking about our physical heart, but that part of every human that desires to know that someone cares.
We spend our lives in search of someone who cares about us. We want someone to understand who we are and what we are feeling. Often we find a friend or a family member who understands us and sympathizes and we feel comforted. But sometimes we feel as if no one is there that can truly know what we are going through. I believe that God has put that feeling inside of us in hopes that we will turn to Him. He can understand because He can see our hearts.
God uses many ways to try to reach out to people. He uses His people, but people often fail. He uses nature, the old theory that says that where there is a creation there must be a creator. But we are often to busy to see the obvious. But then that is the heart and the heart cannot be denied. Something deep inside that says that there has to be more than this.
My old mentor use to say that God calls and we often turn and walk away, so when all else fails, He will put us flat on our backs so that we have no other choice but to look up. Of course those who look at things as half empty will say that God is cruel to let someone get that low. But knowing what we all know about human nature, we are stubborn and hard-headed, sometimes people who love us have to yell scream and eventually grab us and shake us to get our attention and they do it because they love us. God loves us more.
Not being able to see God makes it difficult to trust God. I could not see the water and sewer lines running under my yard. I had an idea that they were there and knew the general location but they were deep inside the ground. Someone with a power that I did not have, was able to clearly see what I could not and understand my concerns, and control the situation to help me feel better about something that I didn’t even tell them was bothering me.
Because God can see the hearts, He is able to do things that no one else can. He can guide us through the troubled times and make what is on the inside that worries us become nothing but a story of how He fixed what we could not. But there is something that could have changed it all.
Remember the dogs. Like a mail carrier, this guy could have chosen to not come in my yard because of the dogs and the whole thing would have been delayed. Sure, eventually they would have caught me at home, probably by leaving a note on the fence telling me of the situation, but that would have made the other problem of a one lane road go on longer. Sometimes we have dogs to protect us and that is okay, but when that protection becomes a hindrance to someone who can help us with a problem that the dogs can’t prevent, we need to make the right decision to call off the defenses and let that person in. So stop letting the dogs out every time that God wants to help and let Him in. You can keep the dogs, but don’t let the dogs keep you from meeting a God who only wants to help.

June 21, 2011

2nd Hand Alcohol

by pastortimfowler

I went to see a friend’s mom in the hospital yesterday because she was in a really bad wreck over the weekend. Sadly, a drunk driver crossed the median of the interstate and hit her car causing it to roll over and sending her to the ICU via helicopter. Just a couple of days after being there, she was removed from ICU and put into a regular room as she continues to improve.
As I walked into the room, I was surprised to see that she had no facial injuries, not even a bruise. Her daughter was showing me the pictures of the car and how it was crushed, especially on the driver’s side and we were both amazed at how anyone could have survived this. But I believe God wrapped his hands around her and protected her from any worse injuries.
So my reason for writing this is total disgust that there is not more outrage in America about the effects of what I like to call 2nd hand alcohol. 2nd hand alcohol is directly and undeniably responsible for more injuries and deaths in this country, and probably the world than 2nd hand smoke will ever be. Yet goody two shoes, nose in everyone’s business, I wanna feel gooders, raise all kinds of stink about the effects of 2nd hand smoke, and to be honest, the evidence is questionable at best at the amount of harm it does.
Our government has put restriction after restriction on who can smoke and where they can smoke and who can be around you when they smoke. They raise taxes to unthinkable levels all to restrict a free society from doing something that is perfectly legal, all because they can give a lab rat cancer by exposing it to 4000 times the normal amount of smoke it could possibly receive from a cigarette. There has never been one proven case of cancer in a human from 2nd hand smoke.
This is where I need to say that I don’t smoke cigarettes and don’t encourage anyone to smoke them. I am simply saying that if it is legal and you have to work that hard to show the dangers to others, perhaps it isn’t as dangerous as some would like it to be. BUT!!!
Alcohol kills others. No if, ands, or butts, about it, people die from the effects of others drinking. If they don’t die they end up in ICU’s with families worried sick about their loved one and wondering how and when they will make a full recovery. Alcohol causes more domestic violence than smoking, more automobile wrecks than smoking, and even causes more house fires than smoking. But I would not be surprised to see alcohol served at the meetings of the holier than thou bureaucrats who talk about the dangers of 2nd hand smoke.
If we are going to get serious about protecting our citizens, we need to stop trying to prove our pet peeves and start dealing with facts, like them or not. 2nd hand alcohol is the reason for my parents divorce, and they both smoked. 2nd hand alcohol was the reason I became an alcoholic at a young age and nearly ruined my marriage. 2nd hand alcohol was the reason for approximately 10000 deaths on our highways this year. More women and children are physically abused each month through 2nd hand alcohol than ever through 2nd hand smoke.
Sure alcohol is legal and I have no problem with someone who drinks and remains in control. The problem is that there is a fine line between you controlling alcohol and it controlling you. I have never been called to the hospital to visit a person who was hurt by a smoker, although I can picture a few scenarios in which that can happen. But I have been and continue to be called to comfort people who have been killed or injured by a drunk.
I pray for those who are enslaved to alcohol. If you or someone you know is abusing alcohol, get help. I am so glad that my friends mom is not dead and should make a full recovery. But her life and her family’s life weren’t the only ones ruined. There is a young man sitting in jail who will have to live with this the rest of his life. It was his 2nd hand alcohol that did the damage to my friend’s life.