Posts tagged ‘seminary’

September 24, 2012

Answer The Call

by pastortimfowler

Old Bibles, Book Craftsman 7-2012

Over that last two weeks there have been two men in our church who have stepped up to say that they believe that God is calling them into the ministry. I remember when I finally made that announcement and it was very difficult because of the disbelief that God could use someone like me. But, 18 years later, I am the pastor of a church that is growing like crazy and now has men who are being called. It is truly a humbling experience.
I remember back before President Obama was even the nominee, when Hillary Clinton ran an ad asking the question, who do you want answering the call at 4am when the world’s peace is at hand. It was questioning whether or not the other candidate was qualified to be put in such a position of authority and responsibility. I thought that it was a great ad, but obviously it was not met with the answer that she wanted people to give.
All throughout the Bible, God calls men and women to serve Him and they begin to doubt that they are qualified. The truth of the matter is that no one is qualified on our own merits. You don’t get qualified by going to school or even seminary. You are not born with a knack for pastoring a church or preaching the gospel. It is purely a call from God. Because of this, no one feels worthy of the call. Moses argued with God when he was told to go and speak to Pharaoh. Ezekiel argued that he was just a youngster. None stepped up to say something like, ‘Finally, God. I was wondering when you were going to pick the right person’.
There is an old saying that I wish I could take credit for but I can’t. God does not call the equipped, He equips the called. It is one of the most truthful sayings ever made. Somehow, God takes messed up people and uses them to win souls and spread the message of hope. He takes people like me, who were drunks and drug addicts and sets them free and lets that horrible past become a testimony of God’s awesome love and power.
These two guys are part of a group of 5 others who have expressed a “call” in their lives by God to do something other than just come to church. I meet with them every Thursday morning at 6am for breakfast and try to share from my experience some useful bits of information that may help them along the way. Most of the time I spend sharing God’s words and my mistakes. They say that we should learn from our mistakes and I therefore may be the smartest man in the world if that is how I am learning. But I really want to encourage these guys to trust in God and give Him everything they can to fulfill the call.
Everyone who claims to be a Christian needs to know that God is calling you to do more than sit in a pew or a chair on Sunday. That is not why Jesus died on a cross. We are all called to share the love of Christ with others. Not all are called to pastor a church and lead mission trips around the world, or hold crusades like Billy Graham. But, we are all called to let our light shine before men and glorify our Father in heaven. Because of this, we need to answer the call. What can you do to be more than someone who just goes to church? It may be as simple as smiling and saying hello to someone who is lonely. Perhaps you can call people throughout the week a let someone know that you are praying for them. Maybe you can give extra so that someone else can go where you can’t. Whatever it may be, if God is calling, you will not be sorry for answering. I know that I have never regretted the moment that I said yes to God and I know that you won’t be either.
Answer the call.

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March 21, 2012

21 March, 2012 17:07

by pastortimfowler

I have been overwhelmed in the last few days by how awesome God is. I wanted to share some of the things God is doing with you. Many of you have heard about my friend in the Philippians and how he struggles from day-to-day to get the supplies that he needs to stay healthy and do the ministry that he does. Our church collected money a few times to send and he is very humble and grateful for what we did. The last money we sent was for him to buy Bibles so that he could teach his people not just the Bible, but English as well. The Bible has both his native language, Tagalog, and English side by side. He just posted some pictures of the Bibles and the people who were receiving them and it blew me away. The joy on their faces was priceless. When I saw them, God filled my heart with overwhelming joy as if He was saying, “well done”. Sure it may not sound like the awesome experience that I started off saying it was, but look at the pictures for yourself on our church Facebook page. (The Body~A Church for Anybody)
Years ago I got the experience of a lifetime when I got to go to Cuba on a mission trip. I thought that I would never get to go back, but just last week a friend sent me an invite to go with him in June of this year. Immediately I began to pray and ask God if He wanted me to go. I can’t explain the feeling of peace mixed with excitement that filled my heart. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit and is often God’s way of telling us to go or do. Then last night I dreamed that I was there seeing the friends I had met the first time I went to Cuba and we were building their new seminary building. Most of my dreams are usually weird and senseless, it may have something to do with my past drug and alcohol abuse. But from time to time when I need to have clarity about what God is saying, I have dreamed things like this. I woke up this morning knowing that I was meant to go. So I have filled out the necessary paper work and sent in my deposit.
For the last several months our church has been hearing and learning about missions and outreach. My church is an incredible place filled with people who really love God and want to love others so that they may experience the love of God. We have been doing things to reach outside our church walls and have felt as if there was still something more that we could do for our community. So as I go to the mailbox yesterday and there is an invite to meet with another pastor and old friend of mine who is launching an incredible ministry in our town that is perfect for our church to get involved in. I won’t go into the details, but it is all about getting personally involve in helping others who are in need. It goes way beyond soup kitchens and rescue missions and fills a void that is often overlooked as churches and these type ministries try to help others. The timing of this could not have been planned any better if I had tried. It coordinates perfectly with what I have been teaching and our church has been wanting to do.
Jesus said that we are to go into all the world and share the good news. Sometimes it means taking a flight to a place like Cuba or sending Bibles to the Philippians. Sometimes it means getting involved with a local outreach to help those in need. Sometimes it means we can help others go because we can’t. And most importantly, it means that we can pray for the love of Jesus to guide our own lives every day so that the salvation and love of God is taken everywhere we go or send it in His name.