Posts tagged ‘safe’

March 22, 2012

Cuba

by pastortimfowler

Cuba, La Havane

Yesterday I found out for sure that I was going to Cuba in June for a week-long mission trip. I am amped up! 7 years ago I went and was blown away by the experience and have wanted to go back but never was able to make it happen. Then a few weeks ago a friend of mine told me that he was going and invited me to tag along. So I filled out the application and sent in my deposit and yesterday I spoke to the guy heading it up as he told me I was going to be part of the group.
Cuba is a fascinating place. Many think that the old cars you see in pictures are collections of classic cars, but they are not. They are the last cars from America that were ever sold in Cuba and to many, the last cars they were able to buy. Cuba is a very poor country, but so beautiful. The people are amazingly friendly and warm and their hospitality is unforgettable. Even the government officials that I met there were friendly and although extremely professional, they were not rude, but rather very likable.
We will be helping to build a seminary while we are there and helping to encourage the church leaders. My feeling is that we are probably going to be the ones who are encouraged. When I came back from my last trip I was filled with joy and re-energized to do ministry here.
So I am asking for people to pray for us as we prepare for this trip. Pray for our safe travels, a smooth passage through customs on both sides, and for lives to be changed because of the unique opportunity to meet fellow believers in a country that many Americans don’t get to travel to. I am also going to be asking for donations to help cover the costs. If you were to feel led to donate you can give through our church website, http://www.thebodylive.com/onlinegiving.html and just be sure to note that it is for the Cuba trip. That way your gift will be tax-deductible.
I told you that God keeps blowing my mind with the things He is doing in my life. It is hard to express the joy that I feel. I am even blown away by the fact that He lets me blog and people really read it.
Thanks!

July 1, 2011

God Bless America!

by pastortimfowler

This is a long weekend for most people in America as we celebrate our nation’s birth and independence. I love our country and its people and love the meaning of this holiday. I also worry each year when the people I know travel and head to lakes and beaches and parties. I worry because this holiday also has a record number of injuries and deaths due to drinking and fireworks and crowded road and waterways.
I rarely travel or vacation during the 4th for those and other reasons. I like open water and roads and as I get older I dislike fireworks more and more. I try to drive during non-rush hours and if I go on a lake I like to do it during weekdays and non-holidays. I like to watch professional fireworks displays but have never been too impressed with the ones you spend a hundred bucks on from a roadside stand. Mine usually end up being far less than that the box promises.
All that said, I still love the 4th of July. I am thankful for our forefathers who sacrificed so much for our freedom and our country. I love thinking about the brave men and women who serve so bravely in the US Armed Forces to keep us safe and often sacrifice all for our country and its freedom. I love watching children spending time with families and the carefree times of vacation. I love seeing our flag flying high and proud on porches and business fronts. It is a beautiful flag and represents our beautiful country.
I will be taking a long weekend off from my blog. I will not be heading to the beach or to the lake, but rather enjoying a rare day off with my beautiful wife and will probably just relax around the house. Our vacation happens in a couple of weeks as we will be celebrating our anniversary and venturing out on the Holy Kaw. I will be observing and take mental notes for things to blog about as I take a break over the next few days and will be back at it on Tuesday, July 5th with something fresh to challenge you with.
Meanwhile, I hope that you have a great holiday. Please be safe on the roads and waterways. Watch out for those who drink too much and don’t have the common sense enough to not drive or operate a watercraft. Be careful if you use fireworks, although I find many duds, the ones that do go off can hurt. Use plenty of sunscreen and drink plenty of non alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated. Have fun and let kids be kids and enjoy this wonderful time. Take a few minutes to reflect and tell others about the meaning of this holiday and thank God for a country that is free.
God bless you and God bless America!

April 4, 2011

Sheep Need a Shepherd

by pastortimfowler

Last week I asked for ideas for my blog and someone named Kim gave me this one.
She thinks that the role of a pastor has changed over the last 20 years or so. I disagree. Okay, let me explain. The role of a pastor has never changed because it is one that is defined by God. His word and His job description will not change no matter what century we live in. Now I know what Kim is trying to get to, I am one of the few who can actually understand her. She sees a shift in the way pastors are being perceived and many are carrying out their responsibilities. There is a new wave of leadership in the church and many are taking a very open change in what tradition defined as the role of a pastor.
A pastor has always been closely related to a shepherd. In fact the word pastor comes from the Greek word meaning shepherd. These days we have no idea what that looks like because folks don’t have flocks of sheep everywhere like they use to. That has allowed the job description of a pastor to be manipulated by people and thus pastors have become what man wants not what God intended. So let me tell you some stuff that a shepherd did.
I guess the best description to some it up is this: The shepherd is to provide a safe, healthy environment for sheep to reproduce.
Safe. That means watching out for wolves and lions that want to kill the young and the weak. In a church environment these wolves and lions often take the form of control hungry people. They want the congregation to think that following one leader is bad and instead they split the church into smaller groups and tell them how wrong the shepherd is, thus leading them away from good food and fresh water and the protection of the shepherd.
Healthy. This means ensuring good food and enough food for all to eat. The right food for the young and old alike. Fresh water for all, free of the stuff that hides in stagnation and causes the sheep to puke the good stuff up because of the unseen bad stuff they ingested. And sometimes the worst danger to the entire flock is another sick sheep. Left to mingle with the rest of the flock, that one sick sheep will infect the whole herd if not separated until the sick one gets better. And yes, sometimes that even means permanently separating the sick one from the flock.
Finally, shepherds don’t grow flocks by purchasing more sheep from somewhere else. If you have a safe and healthy flock they will do what God designed them to do. They will reproduce. Healthy, safe sheep love to make babies. They fulfill something that God puts inside of them and the flock grows.
That is what the shepherd does; provides a safe, healthy environment for sheep to reproduce.
Today, there are some pastors who have become business men, sheep shearers, or vets that make the old sheep comfortable until they die. These are not pastors.
But I am thrilled to say that there is a growing desire to be a shepherd again in the church. Pastors are letting others worry about the things that were drawing them away from being shepherds of the flock and learning a valuable lesson…When the shepherd provides a safe, health environment and sheep are reproducing, the sheep love the shepherd and will follow him where he leads.
It is not complicated and it works. It is God’s design and that is why it works.
To my flock I say, I will do my best to keep the wolves and lions away and make sure that there is good food and water and that your health is good so that you can, eat, drink, and make babies!