Posts tagged ‘South Carolina’

September 21, 2011

My Team Is Winning!

by pastortimfowler

If you have followed my blogs for any time you will know that I love baseball and college football. Specifically, my team in baseball is the Braves and in college football its the SC Gamecocks. This made for some tough times through that years because both teams had some really lousy years. But there have been some great years, like with the Braves making the play-offs for 13 years straight and the Gamecocks lately have at least been in the top 25 rankings. It is good to be able to say, “My team is winning!”.
This morning I was reading blog from Pastor Perry Noble of Newspring church in Anderson SC. It was about whether or not churches should keep track of numbers and even publicize them. He has been accused by many leaders in some mainstream denominations as being boastful. I think that they are just jealous.
You see last year, Newspring Church baptized more people than most of the largest 1st Baptist Churches in South Carolina combined. Now let me agree with something that Pastor Perry said, we need to celebrate even 1 person getting saved and following in believer’s baptism because heaven certainly does. But to be upset because a church is baptizing thousands is nothing but jealousy, in my opinion. I love Newspring church and what they are doing. It is fresh and alive and they are winning souls. Although my own church is still my favorite, I love to watch other churches kick the enemy’s butt!
The church needs to remain focused on what is important. That is not the fact that another church is larger than yours or reaching more people than yours, but rather that when any church reaches a person who accepts Christ as Savior, we all should rejoice. But because the local church is important to how Jesus told us to function as His Body, we need to have a deep passion for our own church and who we are reaching.
I think that we should be calling out the churches who are not reaching anybody for Christ instead of those who are reaching multitudes. Each year in my city alone there are churches who baptize no one. They don’t care and they mind the fact that they have not grown in years. This is not because there are no people around either, but a case of the old “us four and no more” mentality. These are the churches that if anyone should be upset, it should be them.
But every church has people in it who can make a difference. If you are in a church that is not or has not reached people in a while, that can all be changed by you. We have all seen the team that gets that one player who will not let the past losses stop them from playing to win. Even if the whole team refuses to play, you can win for Jesus. And when that happens you need to celebrate. If you give it your best and the church you attend continues to hold you back, leave and find a church that wants to keep score and wants to win.
I feel so blessed to be part of a local church who is playing to win. I want to be there every time that I can and wear its colors boldly. Yes, we have a church shirt designed that I wear like I wear my Gamecocks stuff. I proudly tell people of the great things that we are doing and that the reason we are doing them is because of Jesus. He gets the glory, the honor, the praise, because He gave us the victory. Whenever we lead another person to Jesus and they get baptized, I want Jesus to act like I act when the winning run is scored or points are put on the board. I want Jesus to say, “MY TEAM IS WINNING!”.

August 30, 2011

Charity Is Alive And Well

by pastortimfowler

A couple of days ago, my good friend tweeted that one of his friends had lost their home to a fire and had gotten out with only the clothes on their backs. They did not have insurance, they lived in an apartment, so they have little means to get back the things that were lost. I know that they are really glad that they survived, but survival can be a scary thing when you have no idea how to move forward and get back on your feet.
Within a day of posting this, he was receiving calls from all over South Carolina and even other states. Some were wanting to donate furniture, some money, some clothes and all were offering prayers. I was overwhelmed with the response because of the magnitude and the swiftness. There is something about Americans that is deep in our nature to help others.
Last night I asked a few folks from my church to help. Within a few hours, we had cash and clothes. I took 4 bags of clothes to the family today and a gift card from Wal-Mart that I bought with the cash. As we stood out in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, my friend told me how overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness this family was. He also told me that he was blown away from the response on one tweet. One tweet that asked for prayers amounted to hundreds of prayers and hundreds of dollars and loads of clothes and furniture. Jesus told His disciples that they did not have because they do not ask. He said ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find and a couple of thousand years later, asking does get results and God should get all the glory.
In the Bible, there are some words that we don’t get the full meaning of unless we study the original texts. The word love is like that. There are several words from the Greek that we translate into love. But the one that is the ultimate type of love is “agape”. Although many modern translations of the Bible use the word love, the King James Version however uses the word charity. Although we think of charity today as some kind of organized group to help the needy, the true meaning has more to do with the pure, unselfish nature of the giving that comes from a heart of compassion. It is the type of love that God has for us and is the reason behind Him giving His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Our disaster of sin left us with no hope of survival unless someone showed us some “agape”. That is the word used in this most famous verse.
For God so loved, (agape), the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life…John 3:16.
Charity is alive and well!