Posts tagged ‘special’

July 13, 2012

Still Married And Wanting More

by pastortimfowler

Next week my wife and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. That means I may not be blogging next week because we always take the week off and go somewhere. It is really strange saying that I have been married for 32 years. Most people my age have been married several times and few have that many years with the same person. I still remember when I thought that 30 was old. Now I have been married longer than that. I use to say that my wife married me when I was 12, but that still makes me older than I feel like I want to be.
I have been very blessed. I wish that everyone could experience the type of marriage that I have. I can honestly say that I love my wife more today than when we got married. We are still passionate and fun and learning each other. We love being together and trust each other when we are apart. We laugh, cry, and pray together and have no fears of dying with any regrets of what we could have done together. Our marriage is that special.
Now I don’t want you to think that we don’t have tough times. I tell everyone that my wife is the best of everything for me, including my best fight. No one can make me as angry as she can. But that is because we are passionate. But when we fight, we fight to make us stronger, and when that goes wrong, we forgive to make us humble. In our 32 years we have been on the brink of divorce twice. We have been in marriage counseling and we have been separated. We have been tempted to call it quits, but by the grace of God have never followed through with it. We have suffered through alcohol and drug abuse and self centeredness. We have had plenty of money and great careers and we have both been unemployed and dirt poor. All of these things have worked together to make us stronger.
We use our experiences to help others every chance that we get. We can look young couples in the eyes and tell them that we understand where they are and what they are going through. It brings us great joy to see a couple about to call it quits, turn things around and become stronger than ever.
As a husband, I can honestly say I am the best husband my wife has ever had. She knows this and will be the first to tell you that she has never married anyone that is as good as me. Of course, since I am the only husband she has ever had, I rank number one without any competition. That doesn’t change the fact that I am the best husband she has ever had though.
My wife is incredible. She is extremely smart and has the most incredible patience. She has worked her way to the top in corporate America, ran her own business, and helped to build our church. She has people skills that make her the type of friend that people dream of. As a mom, she is compassionate and nurturing and as a grandmother, or Mimi, she is the one responsible for spoiling the kids beyond repair. Add to all of this, she is unbelievably beautiful and sexy. Yes, I am truly blessed.
So next week, we are heading out to spend a week away from work and church and family and friends. We are going to ride the motorcycle, dine out, watch movies and read books. We are going to forget about the stresses of life and enjoy being together and reflect on how awesome it is to be married to each other. This will mean, no blogs, no Facebook, and no phones.
When we walked down that aisle and said our vows 32 years ago, no one thought that we would make it. Our dads even made bets about how quickly it would end. They said that we would never make it because we were too young and I was too messed up. They were correct about me, but God does work miracles. I was so happy to get married that day. It was the best thing that I could have ever done. I am happily and joyfully married and can’t wait to see what is coming in year 33 together and beyond.
Happy Anniversary to my bride and girl of my wildest dreams. Thanks for loving me and letting me love you.
I am still married and wanting more!

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May 10, 2012

Mother’s Day

by pastortimfowler

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcusandsue/6989520159/

In case I get busy tomorrow, I wanted to be sure and get in my Mother’s Day blog. If there was ever group that deserves a holiday, it is this one. Mothers are awesome. There are two women in my life who have shown me just how awesome they are, my mother and my wife. My wife tries to tell me what to do like my mother did, but I never listened to her either, so get over it, dear.
My mom had some faults, but I know that without her I would not have been born. As much as my dad wanted me, he was not able to get pregnant and therefore married my mother to have me. Her first attempt to have me was a failure. Not a total failure, because it produced my sister. But my dad really waned me, so they tried again, and you know what they say, the second time is the charm.
When I was born they liked me so much that they tried to have another me, but it too ended in something not quite me, my brother. Don’t get me wrong, they liked them, but they were not me. I was my parents favorite first-born son.
My mom raised me special from the beginning. I did not get the first born’s hand me downs. I was the first of my siblings to learn to pee standing up. My sister claims that she could have done it first, but I guess it wasn’t that important to her until I started doing it. My mom dressed me in blue before the others and she also gave me the most masculine name of the first two of her children.
Mom cooked my favorite meals quite often. Chicken, burgers, and bacon covered anything were the top of the list. Often she would cook other stuff for the other children, but I know that she was only trying to not play favorites. It is hard for a mother to show favoritism when she has more than 1 child even though I believe she wanted to. Part of the reason that I think I was her favorite child is because she was my favorite mom as I was growing up.
My mom went to heaven several years ago. I believe she is there with no more pain from the cancer that took her life. I believe that she no longer worries about me and those other two she birthed. I believe she is trying hard not to play favorites when she tells God how thankful she is for having us, but I know that when no one else is around, she tells God how special I am.
My wife is the other mom that is special to me. I believe that it is something genetic that I inherited from my dad, but I too could not get pregnant. So I had to find someone who could. I wanted to have a child just like me because I was such a joy to my mom. Sadly I got stuck with those kids that we had to raise. They are okay, but they are not me. My wife, their mom, says that they are just like me, but we all know that would be too good to be true. I think that she loved me so much that she wanted more of me and sees those traits that make our children better. You can’t blame her for that.
My wife is a great mom. She made the children eat the same food I liked and rarely cooked them anything else. She dressed them like me often and even made our oldest, my daughter, learn to pee standing up so that she could be more like me. This is still very troubling to my daughter and her family now. My wife made all of our children promise to always say they love me more and taught them to be Gamecock fans. She never worried about how she was perceived, only how they perceived me.
In all the years that we have been married, she has treated me like she was my mother. She said that if she didn’t have any children that I would be her favorite child and believes that I will never grow up. Of course I am extremely mature for my age and this is just her desire to never stop being a mom. She cooks for me, cleans my room, makes sure I have everything I need to watch every football game the Gamecocks play, and always makes sure to leave to toilet seat up, because after all, I learned to pee standing up.
Happy Mother’s day to my two favorite moms and to all mothers out there. Sure, you don’t have children like me, but not everyone can be so blessed. Enjoy the kids you have and you can always teach them to be like me by continuing to read my blogs and teach them my ways. My two favorite moms did it with their kids, and you can too.

January 31, 2012

Tourist Trap Christians

by pastortimfowler

So, we were in the Bahamas for a port of call during our recent cruise and decided to play tourist. We left the ship to go shopping in the town and see if we could buy a few souvenirs and gifts for the kids back home. We went into what was called the Straw Village which was lined with row after row of locals selling trinkets and t-shirts and hats. After the third row of probably 20 rows, I began to notice that nothing was much different from the row before. The same hats, the same jewelery, the same shirts, just a different display and a different person sitting there trying to get us to buy their stuff. There was no gap in between tables and only about five feet in between vendors. As we continued to make our way around to the next row and then the next, I began to see something that made me think about Christians.
Let me preface what I am about to say with the note that I never like to lump any group of people together with a blanket statement, even though there are many broad statements that could be said about many groups, including Christians. I am not accusing all Christians of being like what I am about to say, but there are enough that it could apply to a large portion of them.
Each vendor in this place knew that there were cruise ships in port that day. This was a regular stop and a popular place for tourists to shop. Most of the first time tourists like me, were expecting this enthusiastic greeting from all of the locals who they were trying to earn our business. Sadly, it wasn’t so. Instead of a warm welcome, we were greeted with a barrage of the same old lines repeated by each vendor there. “Slow down, look and touch. Great deal today.” This was said over and over by each vendor and was said with no enthusiasm and no meaningful voice inflections. And, because they were seated so close to each other, there was no recognizable difference in one vendor to the next. They were so used to tourists being there that it was not special to them, even though it was our money buying their goods that put food on their plates. They repeated the same lines so many times that it had no impact on them nor us, the tourists.
Christians have become a lot like this. We are free in America to speak the Gospel anytime, anywhere, to anyone. But we have heard it and spoke it so much that there is no meaning to our words anymore to the ones who hear it from us. Those who hear it from us have heard the same old lines repeated time and time again by a less than enthused Christian that it does not convict them to act, but rather compels them to hurry through the market of churches selling Christianity.
Every now and then we came across an individual in the market that had a smile and a belief that what they were selling was really worth you buying and they were willing to put the effort into making the most of their one opportunity to sell you what they had. And strangely, at these rare vendors tables, tourists were flocking and buying and walking away thinking that they had received something special from their visit to the Bahamas.
I know that my salvation, given to me from God through Jesus Christ is special. You can only get it from God and He has authorized me to be a vendor for it. He has put me in a market place that has groves of people walking through, looking for something and someone to convince them to buy it. I can either repeat the same old boring line that you have heard a million times before or I can sell it to you in a way that makes you know that what I have is special. The burden is not on the tourist walking by my table in life, but on me, the vendor, who has been given the wonderful opportunity to sell you something that will make you glad that you came by my table.
Most tourists only get to visit a place like this once or twice in a lifetime. Some will buy a trinket that will end up in the bottom of a suitcase and make a less than dazzling impression on others and may never get a second look after that. Some will remember the person who sold the trinket and tell the story of how wonderful the person who sold it to them was and convince others to try what they just experienced. But never forget that the vendors are the ones who truly make the difference to someone buying from them. They are the ones who make someone walk by in hopes of escaping, or, stop and buy what they are selling.
Christians are not selling to tourists the trinkets of a vacation, but a life changing, eternal hope of having favor with God and being able to show the benefits of knowing Jesus Christ as Savior. Churches are not the place that just happens to put food on the table, but rather are giving food for the soul. Jesus is far better than trinkets and t-shirts and certainly is better than a 5 day vacation in a tropical paradise. It is the hope of an eternal home in the paradise of Heaven with a God who loves us enough to pay our sin debt and allow us to share this awesome hope with others.