Posts tagged ‘time’

August 30, 2012

One Step Ahead

by pastortimfowler

LEAD

6am is very early for a lot of people. I am one of those. There was a time when I was up and about by 5:30am every morning, but with kids growing up and moving out and jobs changing to not require it, I have taken a liking to sleeping a little later. But this week I started meeting with a group of guys from the church at 6am for ministry training and it was really weird to be out that early. We wanted to meet at IHOP so that we could relax and let the food and drink come to us, but it doesn’t open until 7am. In fact, there is not a restaurant in this town other than fast food that opens that early, so I am not the only one who doesn’t want to get up that early.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron,so one person sharpens the wits of another. This is the verse I shared with the guys today, at 6am. It is important in life to have someone who can help you achieve your goals and follow God’s calling. It doesn’t matter if you are called to do a specific ministry or just want a closer relationship with God, others who have a little more experience can and should help. It is easy to become a Christian. All it takes is admitting you are a sinner in need of forgiveness from God and asking Him to forgive you because you believe that Jesus paid your sin debt. It is by grace that we are saved through faith. After that, the hard part begins. Growing to be the best Christian that you can be. Jesus never left the ones that He called alone to figure things out for themselves. He invested His time and His love into their lives. He showed them by example how to live a life that is pleasing to God and taught them about forgiveness when they failed.
Far too often Christians stagnate and become of very little influence to those around them. Not because they don’t want too, but because they don’t know how too. We try to be loners in our faith and self-taught followers of Christ. But like a self-taught plumber, self-taught Christians often don’t attempt much real work for fear of causing a bigger mess than that which already exists. This should not be the case.
Reading the Bible is an important part of being a Christian. But, like learning something such as plumbing, what you read can often confuse you more because some things need someone to explain terminology and procedures. And then there are those things that happen that don’t seem to fit the directions that you just read. I was trying to install a new sink the other day and the fittings in my house were different from what I had in the instructions that came with the sink. I tried several times to figure it out on my own, but every time I did, water kept flowing out of the pipes onto the floor and I am pretty sure that is not normal. So I went to the local home improvement store with parts in hand and asked for help. This guy was a plumber who had done this many times before and showed me how to make things right. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, but without his help, I would have never gotten it and chances are, I would have never tried this again. Now I believe that I could do it right and even help someone else who might be attempting this for the first time.
So I am trying to help some guys who want to go further in ministry. They in turn are helping others who are trying to grow in their Christian walk and relationship, and hopefully, one day those who they are helping will be meeting with me at 6am. Meanwhile, I encourage you to see about finding someone to help you grow to a better relationship with God. Perhaps you need encouragement to read your Bible more. Perhaps you need to serve in another capacity at your church and you need someone to help you take that step. Perhaps you just need to strengthen your faith in the simple fact that God has forgiven you or maybe you need to take that important step of trusting God for forgiveness and salvation. If so, and no matter where you need the help, there is someone who can and will help you. All you need to do is ask. But don’t think that you can do it all alone; iron sharpens iron.
A wise man once told me that you only need to be one step ahead to lead. Lead others to help them lead others. If you don’t know where to go, ask for directions. But please, do what it takes to find your way to God and continue growing closer to Him. He is waiting to meet you and desires a relationship with you.

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April 10, 2012

Most Precious

by pastortimfowler

www.flickr.com/photos/tonivc/2283676770

Today I was having lunch with my favorite wife and a friend from church and the friend asked me to blog about a subject that her husband’s Bible study was discussing the other day. The lesson was about giving from what is most precious to you. Then she asked me what was most precious to me. We were eating at Taco Bell and I was trying to enjoy my taco but they kept wanting to know my most precious possession. I was in a no win situation because my wife was there. If I had said that she was my favorite possession then someone would get mad and say that I don’t own her, if I had said something else, she would have got mad. So I ate my taco.
The lesson that she was talking about was trying to get the point across that we need to give from our hearts and not from things that don’t mean anything to us. God gave us Jesus, His most precious possession, and He did it because of His great love for us. Most of what we see given in churches are what we happen to find in our pockets as the offering plate is passed around, unless we look and see that it is more than a couple of dollars then we tell God that we will owe Him.
My wife gives from her heart all the time. She loves children. In an earlier blog I told you that she is an addict when it comes to little kids. She gives them her very best all the time. It makes me jealous from time to time. I see the kids getting anything that they ask for and when I ask for something she tells me I don’t need it. Everybody needs cake. She gives to the church all the time. There is not much that happens there that she is not involved in. Not only does she love kids, but she loves regular people too and gives to them. She gives to her work. Professionalism in the dictionary has her picture as the definition. And yes, she gives to me, but I don’t want to go into details about how or what. My wife is so giving that she tried to give the people who take out the trash at Taco Bell her van. She tossed her keys in there as she was leaving.
I like the way Taco Bell gives. With a regular combo you get a large drink. Not like you need it, but then you get free refills. They give away the taco sauce in is the little packets too. I don’t use them, but I see people loading their hands with them. I think they take them home and make soup out of them. My favorite is the peppermints that they give away. Its like desert after a taco meal.
Giving from what is precious to us is hard to do. We like to hold things more closely if they are important to us. So to answer the question of what is most precious to me…I don’t really know. I don’t like to hold on to stuff. I get told that I don’t care about money. I like to give it away and I like to spend it. I don’t care about clothes. Jeans and a t-shirt are fine with me and if you need mine, you can have them. God has given me a great life and a great family, but I know that they really belong to Him, so I let God decide where they are given.
If I had to say what I hold most precious, I guess it would have to be my time. I realize that I only have a certain amount and after that, I get no more. I don’t own my time, but I own what I do with it. I find it most difficult to give the time that I have chosen to do something for me to someone else who needs my help. But, I get the greatest reward from knowing that when I do give it away, someone else’s time on earth is made better.
With the time I have, God allows me to fill it with a beautiful wife, wonderful children and grandchildren, and a church family that is most incredible. He allows me to preach and teach the Bible as my vocation and I don’t have to punch a time clock. I never get tired of working for Him. My only struggle is when I want my time to be mine and it gets interrupted. That is why I think that it is my most precious possession. So I try to give it away despite what I feel, and I never get disappointed in the results.

December 8, 2011

Spending Time With Kids

by pastortimfowler

Tomorrow I am heading to Washington DC to see the Army/Navy football game being played there Saturday. This will be the second year in a row, and I am stoked to get to do it again. Being a Navy veteran and the son of a Navy veteran, it has always been a special game for me. What makes it even better is that my son is going with me again. It would be great if both of my sons, and even my daughter, could go, but that just isn’t possible.
I have been blessed to have a great relationship with my adult children. We can talk about most anything. Our favorite subject is their mother, but that is another blog for another time. We enjoy hanging out and have fun when we do. And this all started when they were small children.
I was definitely not the perfect parent when they were little. But I had a desire to spend time with them and to try to be. From the time my daughter was in preschool, we went to dances and father/daughter date nights and I rarely missed a game that she cheered for. My boys and I fished, play video games and I coached their teams when they played sports. I even played “roady” for my youngest son’s band for a couple of years. My wife and I tried to take vacations that had us all spending time together rather than finding a place to entertains us as individuals. Sure we had some vacation nightmares, but for the most part, we always enjoyed our time together.
So now that they are adults, we still find time to hang out. What is cool is that I see them spending time with their children now. Taking them to ballgames, cool vacations, and special events of music and plays. I can’t tell you how special that is because I know that these times spent bonding now will last a lifetime and will grow into a habit of spending quality time together for years to come.
Don’t think that your children don’t want to spend time with you. Parents don’t have to be best friends in everything, but they do need to be examples of how to have a good time with the one’s you love. Those things are priceless lessons that embed in the heart and grow to be memories that never fade and continue to be made every time you get a new chance to spend a special moment together. If parents teach children how to have a good time, then they won’t have to learn it from other kids who have no parental influence in their lives.
So tomorrow there won’t be a blog. I will be driving to DC with my oldest son to spend Saturday at the stadium watching a game that I have loved ever since I was a kid watching it with my dad. GO NAVY! BEAT ARMY!

June 14, 2011

Say It Now

by pastortimfowler

I had the honor today of doing a funeral for a friend whose uncle died the other day. Funerals are how we say good-bye to those who leave this life. It is one of the hardest things for a family to do, to plan a funeral that encompasses the wants and desires of every family member hoping to say I love you one last time in one last way. As a pastor, I get to listen to those stories and try to tie it all together in a way that offers hope and at the same time give the sense that I heard what they hoped to say.
We all live with family and friends in a world that has us so connected that we literally don’t go much more than minutes and at best hours without talking to someone either through voice or text or a social network. I find myself looking for something funny to say, just to say something to let my friends and family know that I am think about them. Sometimes I want to call my wife and just say I love you in hopes of brightening her day, but she can’t always take my calls at her work. But too often I say the silly things instead of saying the important.
Life is short. The older you get the more you realize this. I remember as a kid thinking that the summer was such a long time, and now, summer had just started and I can already think about fall and the cooler weather to come as if it were coming tomorrow. Birthdays and anniversaries fly from one to the next and a year seems far too short now. Days can be missed with the blink of an eye and children grow into adults faster now than ever before. In reality, time does not go faster, a year is still 365 days, but the perspective on that time is really different with more time spent on this earth.
After every funeral I do, I spend time thinking about what is really important in life. I think about spending better time if I can’t spend more time with the ones I love. I think about what I need to teach those who are following behind me and if what I am teaching will mean anything after I am gone. One thing that I am always reminded of is that saying I love you and acting like it really need to match up. Teaching the importance of taking responsibility for things in life that you are responsible for and that people are watching everything you do, so do it well. I also remember that because people are watching, I need to act like the Jesus that I tell people about.
But most importantly, I need to remember that once I am gone, and others are telling people about me and my influence in life, that I have nothing more to say. When life ends, so does the chance to tell someone who you love them and that you are proud of them and that Jesus loves them. When life ends, so does your ability to say those things, so say it now!