Posts tagged ‘words’

October 15, 2012

Appreciation

by pastortimfowler

October is pastor appreciation month and this Sunday our church celebrated. The Pastor Bunny brought everyone heart-shaped gifts full of eggs and fireworks, wrapped in mistletoe. Not really. We did not have fireworks.
I was so grateful for the dinner and gifts and kind words. I am the one who should be giving the gifts and tokens of my appreciation.
I don’t hide it; I love my church and my church family. They never miss an opportunity to show God’s love to people. They make it easy to be a pastor and for the record, it is not always as easy as I make it look. After all, I am a trained professional.
So today I wanted to give a shout out to everyone at The Body, A Church for Anybody; my church! I wanted to say how much I love you guys and how blessed I feel to have the privilege of serving as your pastor. I wanted to say that gifts and meals and cards are wonderful, but pale in comparison to the love I feel all the time from you guys. There is never a time that I doubt your love or don’t feel like I am appreciated. And although I rarely like to speak for other people, I believe that I can say the same is true for my associate pastors as well.
One of the great things that you do for me on a regular basis is love my wife. In fact, I think that we can tone that back a bit. She is beginning to think that she is more important than me. Just kidding. She is humbled by your love and affection for her. In no other church that we have ever served in has she felt so genuinely loved. And if anyone wants to win over my heart, that is the best way to do it; love and appreciate my wife. For that I say thank you, very much.
Our church is on an amazing journey. We are growing both numerically and spiritually. We see folks introduced to Jesus every week because you guys are bringing others. Those people are coming because they see your love for God and your belief in our church to show that love. We are seeing people who’s lives are being changed in every aspect of life. Marriages being restored, friendships being developed, people called into ministry and to the mission field. None of this happens in a church because of a great pastor. It happens in a church because of great people who serve a great God.
So since I have had my time in the spotlight for pastor appreciation month, I would like to make the rest to this month about me, the pastor, showing my appreciation for the people I get to serve. I am sad to say that I won’t be able to buy everyone a gift or cook everyone a meal, but I will say thanks to God every time I pray and every time I think about each of you. I will try my best to smile and give you all a hug as often as I can and express my appreciation to you as best I can.
For anyone who does not attend my church, please show your love and appreciation for your pastor, not just this month, but all the time. Love his wife and his family and watch how God will bless you and your church. October is Pastor Appreciation month, so take some time to show it. If you aren’t sure how, I know a bunch of people who are experts at it and can show you anytime.
Thank you!!! The Body, A Church for Anybody!!! Your pastor appreciates you!!!

April 9, 2012

Seeing is Believing

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/34827444@N08/3706533015

Shortly after Jesus rose from the grave, He went to see His disciples. One of them, Thomas, who had not seen Him yet, told the others that he would not believe until He saw Jesus for himself. My associate pastor preached our Sonrise service Easter and asked the question, have your seen Jesus. Sadly many do not believe because they have not seen. Jesus was quoted as saying , blessed are those who believe and have not seen. He was talking to Thomas, the doubter, about how he saw the resurrected Jesus and believed but others would have to believe without seeing Him physically.
When we started our church 7 years ago we wanted to name it something that represented what and who the church should be and so we called it, The Body. 1 Corinthians 12:27 You are Christ’s body and each of you is an individual part of it. This is speaking about the group of believers called the church. We are to be the body of Christ to the world who cannot see Jesus as Thomas and the other disciples did.
Our theme song is from a group called Casting Crowns, titled, If We are The Body. It asks the questions that if we are the body, why aren’t His arms reaching, hands healing, words teaching? The point of the song is that unless people see Christ in His church, they are not going to believe that He is alive. If people outside of the church can’t see the love of Christ in us who are the church, then they may never see the love of Christ at all.
My old pastor told me that the church was not a country club for saints, but rather a hospital for sinners. When we act as if we are the privileged few instead of the fortunate forgiven, people can get really turned off by this whole Jesus thing. The church must remember that we are nothing without Christ and with Him and only because of Him are we anything. His death on the cross was to pay the sin penalty for everyone who will believe and His resurrection was to give us a life that we can’t have without Him. But we have a responsibility to share this message with others and do it in a way that people believe. In other words, we must act enough like Jesus for people to see Him before they see us.
Thomas gets a bad rap for his doubt. Every time you hear someone called a doubting Thomas they are referring to the Thomas of the Bible. But Thomas was at least honest enough to say he did not truly believe. Jesus did not condemn him for that. Instead Jesus offered to let Thomas touch His wounds. If you think about it, Jesus could have acted like He had never been hurt and tried to show Thomas how godly He was, but He didn’t. Instead He showed Thomas how much His past hurt Him and how human He was. That is why God became a man. To show us that He understands us. Everyone in the Jewish world knew about the God in Heaven who could not be touched. Jesus was God on earth so that He could be touched.
So the church needs to remember that we are not the God of Heaven who is holier than all, but rather we are the Body of Christ, who is every bit as human as the next guy and every bit loving as the Christ who died on a cross for our sin. We have been hurt and sometimes still hurt. We have fallen down and sometimes still do. But we get back up and not even death can keep us down, because Jesus defeated death and has given us the victory over it. But life must still go on and the world needs to see a church that loves unconditionally and gives unselfishly and never forgets that God wants to use us to represent Jesus to the world. We must never forget that some may still need to see to believe.

June 17, 2011

Words Just Can’t Describe It

by pastortimfowler

This morning I was having date night hangover. NO, I did not go out drinking last night, but I did wake up, after very little sleep, and I felt like I was a bit discombobulated. I know many are thinking, ‘how can you feel that way and still use such a big word?’. Others are wondering if this is the proper use of the word. And still others, but a very small minority, really don’t care.
We had a mostly unpretentious night, that included dinner, coffee, and some casual conversation. The company was impeccable and the food was adequate and the coffee was less than stimulating, but then again, I only partially ingested it. It is not my preference to consume beverages of that variety, hot and caffeinated, at that time of the evening, but my wife can be impetuous about her coffee and because it was date night, I wanted to meet all of her expectations. At the end of the evening, I exceeded her expectations even though they were low to begin with, but my exuberance to impress her was flawless in its application and adaptation.

 So this morning as I was preparing for my commute to the office I was looking for my Kangaroo cup because it allows me to receive refills of my favorite cold beverage free of exchanging any currency. This cup was the benefaction of a munificent comrade who attends the congregation of which I pastor. For some ambiguous reason I could not locate this cup and I felt myself become irascible.
My anxiety was alleviated when I finally located my cup. I was able to obtain my refill, free of charge, and greet the store attendant who had a lackadaisical demeanor, with newly found enthusiasm thanks to the locating of this cup. As I left the convenience store with my delightfully refreshing beverage and a new-found exuberance for the day ahead, I could only smile as I reflected on the amazing and almost comical way this day had unfolded in such a short period of time. The world had once again become amiable and enthusiasm abounded as I began to permeate the world with my overabundance of joy.
Here at the office I have continued to exponentially increase the positive direction of my day by indulging in an exegetical study of the word of God that is the illumination of the world and the verisimilitude writings of the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Creator of the universe. His salvation and redemptive attitude toward sinful homo-sapiens is incomprehensible and overwhelming in its ability to penetrate an impervious heart.
He loves us so much that words just can’t describe it.