Posts tagged ‘training’

September 25, 2012

Replacement Refs

by pastortimfowler

Football_Referee

The big talk today is about the horrible calls by the replacement refs in this years NFL season, especially last night’s game that cost Green Bay a win. I have to admit that it was one of the most bizarre finishes to a game that I have ever seen. But, what do you expect when you try to replace the best with anything else? There is a reason why the NFL refs are there. It is the same reason the players are there; They are the best at what they do.
I hate to jump on people who are only doing the best that they can. I absolutely do not believe that these refs purposefully made bad calls. After all, many of them are trying to get their big break in order to make it to the big leagues. They are performing to the level that most of us will never achieve and they are doing it under a whole lot of pressure. Even the best make mistakes and blow it from time to time. I guess the real question should be, what is going on and how do you fix it so that the best come back?
But here is the point that I want to make. Are you training someone up to do what you do? Now I am not talking about everything being replaced such as a mom or dad or spouse, but rather in your job or at church or in something that you are responsible for accomplishing.
Many times when I counsel couples, they say stuff like, “he never helps with the children” or “she never helps with the yard work”. Could it be that they don’t know how? Often after the loss of a loved one to divorce or death, there is a spouse who does not know how to pay the bills or get groceries or take care of the kids, so maybe we are talking about everything being replaced. I know that at church there are lots of times when someone is out due to illness or vacation and no one knows what to do in their absence. So we tell everyone at our church to train up their replacement.
Maybe you are not training someone because you feel like if you are replaced, you won’t feel needed. But if you are doing it for that reason, then maybe your motivation is wrong. I appreciate it when someone in a position that is vital to things going smoothly is out and I don’t notice it because the person that filled in for them did an excellent job. Even if they did not do the job to the same level of expertise, the fact that they were there and could do the job at all is awesome. And, over time, they will get better and we will grow and there will be an opportunity for more people to do ministry and more people will be needed to fill in. That is healthy.
But far to often, we look at things with the glass half empty mentality. We should start being happy that there is someone who can ensure that things continue rather than come to a screeching halt. Maybe we need to be grateful for replacement refs because we are football fans rather than football critiques. Maybe we should be grateful when our spouse or kid cuts the grass even if they missed a spot. Maybe we should be thankful for supper being cooked, even if it doesn’t taste like mom’s cooking. Maybe we should be fans of those who do the job to the best of their ability and save the criticism for those who never lift a finger to help.
Remember that all of us were once less than proficient at what we do. There has only been one perfect person and He got nailed to a cross. But He also started training up some replacements who we all know don’t do it as well as He did. But God is our biggest fan and really loves the fact that the game did not stop when Jesus was away. Instead of stopping the game, He made a way for us to keep on playing.
So as we wait for the real refs to return, lets enjoy the fact that at least we get to watch the game. At least someone was trained well enough to fill in. At least someone trained the replacements well enough to allow for them to step up when others were stepping down.
Please Lord, let me be thankful for those who are doing the best that they can and let me be more of a fan than a complainer.

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September 9, 2011

That Woman God Gave Me

by pastortimfowler

Yesterday I had the privilege of spending the whole day at Newspring Church in Anderson SC for their annual leadership conference. Although I had been there before for worship and a different training event, I could not believe what happened there this time. Pastor Perry Noble and his church are incredible tools that God is using to change the world. I know that sounds like a huge statement but I don’t think that I am exaggerating. They are really doing things that reach worldwide and doing it in a practical way.
This particular conference was to motivate leaders to follow the model of leadership set forth in the Bible and perfected by Jesus Christ.
I have been to many events in many churches before and usually walk away with really useful stuff. Occasionally I am moved to an emotional response that resembles an allergy attack in which my eyes start watering, but that is rare.
Yesterday was different. There were seven different pastors that spoke in front of the 3000 plus leaders who were gathered there and I felt so bad for all of those guys because the seven speakers were talking only to me. How they picked me out of the crowd I don’t know, but I was made to feel very special. I was hoping that this was a fluke after the first guy finished and then after the second guy did it too I got nervous, but when it continued all day I was on overload.
As a pastor, I feel confident that I hear from God daily as I try to lead and serve my church. I read and study my Bible daily, listen to other pastors who teach on the radio when I can, and I try my best to stay spiritually fed. But at this event I felt as if I was at an all you can eat dinner and I couldn’t get enough. Even when I knew I was full, I felt like God packed it down and stuffed in some more. I am not talking burgers and ‘dogs, but the finest spiritual cuisine one could eat.
One of the speakers spent 45 minutes talking about gratitude. When he said that this was his topic I wanted to zone out because I feel like I am a fairly grateful guy. But as he began to preach I realized over and over that I was falling short. The Bible tells us that we are to be thankful in everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. I am real good about gratitude for the good, and have even said thanks for some of the trials, but I often blame myself for things that go wrong. This guy said that we need to be careful blaming ourselves for those thing that go wrong or we may be quick to take credit when things go right. God gives us trials to make us stronger, not for us to play the blame game.
The one area that I was most convicted was my gratitude for my wife. I take her for granted more than I ever should. I am supposed to be Christ to her and so many times I am more like the devil, and not in the fun way that we like to think. Not only does she support me in everything we do, and she is a great cook, a great mom, a great worker, a great friend, but she is also great in the things that she does that I don’t like. Sounds weird, but I am not grateful for those things like I should be. They are just as much part of the person I love as the other things, yet I am quick to complain. Oops, sorry honey. I love you for who you are, all of you.
This pastor made a statement that scared me in a Godly way. He said if you are not grateful for the things that God has given you because you think that they have flaws, God can always take it back. God does not make mistakes and we need to understand this. I made a promise to take her for better, worse, rich, poor, sick, and health. I have overwhelmingly had the best side of it all. The few things that I find irritating, I really want to be grateful for because if I don’t have those small parts, I don’t have her.
So, I am praying to be really grateful for her, not what she does. I want to thank God every moment of the day for my wife who is better than I ever deserved and quit acting like I am entitled to anything at all. What I deserve is nothing close to what He has given me. I have more to be grateful for than I can count and my wife makes up the biggest part of all those things.
Thank you God for every part of who my wife is. She is perfect for me, and I am for ever grateful.

April 30, 2011

Who gets kids?

by pastortimfowler

Again I have been asked to blog about something that is challenging, at the least. Today’s topic; How does God decide who gets children? Well, this should be easy…NOT!
You have to understand that this question comes from a woman that just had a baby today. I wonder what the real, deep, psychological meaning behind that one is? Anyway, I will give it a shot.
First let me begin with the fact that the Bible does not answer that question specifically. It does say that children are a blessing from God though. So the short answer is anyone He wants to bless. Right now I am sure there are many of you going, “you haven’t met my kids, have you?” I have met many kids and decided that I did not like them. They are like those gnats that swarm and get in your face and no matter how much you swat at them they don’t go away. I never even like my own children. They were given to us as a blessing and I am pretty sure that woman God gave me messed them up and turned them into monsters.
The Bible says that grand children are like a jewel in you crown. I think they are like pain in my…I mean, I agree.
Let me get back on track. When God created humans, Adam and Eve were told to have babies and populate the world. He told Abraham that he would have so many ancestors that you wouldn’t be able to count them. If that is so, there are a lot of people who God needs to allow to have babies. I know that there has to be some kind of reasoning behind it, but I really think that it boils down to keeping His promise to Abraham.
People will think that it is fair or unfair that certain people get kids and others don’t. Supposed “good” people who want a child and never get one and the “bad” ones get more than they ever need, it is hard to make sense. But God’s plan is that everyone He allows to be born get a chance to know Him and be used for God’s glory.
There are very few things in life that are harder to explain than this question. God is sovereign. He does not have to explain Himself to us. He has revealed himself in so many ways already. He has given us details to how we should live and how we should raise our children and over and over we ignore them. We turn beautiful blessings from God into spoiled brats. (Not your kids though) One day God will allow us to understand how He decides who gets kids. Until then we need to focus on how to get those kids to know Jesus.
Here is the plan. A child will be given to parents, and before the child is ever born God knows it (Jeremiah 1:4). When the child is born, it will be born naked (Job 1:21). Parents are to raise the child in a godly home (Proverb 22:6). Part of that training should include beating them (Proverbs 23:13,14). Another part of that training should be teaching them not to make fun of bald preachers (2 Kings 2:23,24). One day those kids should leave and start the cycle all over again (Genesis 2:4).
Children are on loan to us from God. We need to do all we can to return them in good shape. You just never know who gets kids.