All posts by Pastor Thom

I’m Thom Fowler. I pastor two churches and also work full-time in a retail environment…but that is what I do, not who I am. I am a follower of Christ and to me that’s not just about going to church, opening my Bible occasionally and saying a prayer once in a while. For me following Christ is interacting daily with Someone who knows me and, despite my flaws, loves and accepts me.

 “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” Ephesians 1:4 NLT 

My motivation for blogging is that I know that others struggle with life as I do and a partner on the journey is always welcome. 

A Tall Order

Father, today may I be a vessel used of You. All that I do and say, all that I have had a hand in, may it all be used by You to lift You up so others can see You more clearly. As John, the Baptist said of Your Son, “He must increase but I must decrease.” John 3:30 May this be my proclamation today.

1 Timothy 2:1 (<<click here)

I am called to pray, Lord, for all people”. This, obviously, is an all-inclusive statement and that is how it must be. As I think about the width of it, “all” includes a lot of people who don’t think like I do. It includes, literally millions who don’t think like You do! But You, very clearly call me to “ask [You] to help them.” You call me to “intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” That is one tall order! And the thing is that it is way more than people just not thinking like You do. They oppose You! Many deny Your very existence! But You called us to pray for them, to ask that You help them, to intercede on their behalf, to be thankful for them! Yes…that is a tall order but how can I do anything less. All I have to do is to look at our relationship – Yours and mine. Have I done anything to deserve Your love? No… Am I worthy in and of myself, to be accepted by You? No… The only thing that enables this sinner to stand in Your presence is that fact that I have accepted Your love and forgiveness – grace has been extended and gratefully accepted. (Thank You, Lord…)

Lord, help me to pray, and intercede and thank You for those who are not a part of Your family…yet!  And help me do it one person at a time, each and every day!

August 28th, 2015, Fri, 6:49 am

Clinging

Thank You, Father, for a great day yesterday. It was a crazy day at work but you helped me get so much done. And then for giving me the opportunity to spend some quality time with Karen. Help me to use my time wisely today. Guide and direct my thoughts and actions as I prepare for Sunday.

1 Timothy 1:18-20 (<<click here)

“Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear.” v.19a

As I think back over my life, Lord, I can very clearly see where the words of this verse are vital to the walk of every follower of Christ. In my mind’s eye, at least, I picture clinging as more than just holding hands. It conveys the idea of wrapping my arms around You with the intent purpose of not letting go – security factors in greatly. I am to wrap my arms around my faith in You – securely, not letting go. Separating myself from You can have dire consequences! I am more apt to be attacked or tempted – with You close by, I shut down wayward thoughts the instant they pop into my head. When You are by my side my mind has a greater tendency to follow Your direction, stating the obvious. I want to be faithful to You. I want to be guided by You. Living this way is fulfilling and when I live this way my conscience remains clear, as well.

I don’t want to leave this train of thought this morning without thinking about what happens when I stray from Your presence – when I don’t cling to my faith in You, Lord. If I start to ignore those pricks on my conscience it can lead to a very slippery slope. When I stop paying attention to Your warnings my heart can begin to harden. I can liken it to developing a callus. Over time I lose my sensitivity to areas that You want me to avoid I can allow things into my life that pull me away from You.

Lord, help me to cling to my faith and to keep my conscience clear. Amen

August 27th,  2015,Thurs, 6:44 am

I Have Issues!

Father, as this day begins, I want to consciously hand it over to You. You have truly – miraculously – changed many things in me for the better. But we both know that You are not finished with me. Father, please help me be the person You want me to be. My brain cannot process all the why’s in regards to my anger issues but Father, You and I know they need to be dealt with! I am incapable of dealing with them but, Father, You are not! Help me address them and help me to love others as You do. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:15-17 (<<click here)

Lord, it was difficult writing out today’s prayer. None of us like to announce, “I have issues!” But as Paul proclaims in v.15, “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’- and I am the worst of them all.” And I like Paul, can say, “But God had mercy on me…” v.16a

I am, by no means, perfect. I truly strive to be obedient to Your call on my life as a follower of You, Lord. But it is no secret that I fail. I say things I shouldn’t say – hurtful things. I do things I shouldn’t do – my anger spews forth and I don’t stop it. I think things unbecoming a child of God – perverse things, hateful things. “But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.” v.16

“Great patience…” O, Lord, where would I be without Your “great patience.” Once again I join Paul in proclaiming “All honor and glory to God forever and ever!… Amen.” v.17

Without You, I would surely be lost. Only because of You am I found. Yes, I most assuredly have a multitude of things to work on but, thanks be to God, I’m not on my own! Lord, You are with me, You love me more than I will ever truly comprehend on this side of eternity and You, the Creator of all that is, You want me to succeed! I will be victorious!…but only because of You. Amen!

August 25th,  2015, Tue, 5:57 am

Deeper

Yesterday was sure a mixed bag for me, Father. I enjoyed Your presence and am grateful You could use me. But later I felt my weaknesses inhibited what You wanted to happen. I was fearful and didn’t address an opportunity as I should have. And then in a separate incident, I was slighted and instead of finding comfort in You, I had to “discuss” it with others. I’m sorry… The only solution is to draw closer to You, so as to spend more time with You, so as to become more like You. Amen

1 Timothy 1:12-14 (<<click here)

How apropos the notes of my study Bible for this morning’s passage are for me today, Lord. Initially, Paul stood against the followers of the Way but You were able to turn him around. But now he is bold and rock solid in his relationship with You – no matter what is thrown at him. As yesterday clearly points out, that is not me. But, as my study Bible notes read, “we can remain confident that Christ will help our faith and love grow as our relationship with him deepens.”

I am dependent upon You, Lord. Please continue to draw me to Your side. I have no doubt that You love me and I truly believe that Your plan for me is victory – I will overcome the adversities of this life. I would ask that You would turn my detriments into determination! May Your name be forever praised my loving and patient Lord and Savior!

August 24th, 2015, Mon, 5:51 am

Balance Law with Love

Dear, precious Father, I am so grateful that You made it possible for us to have a personal, intimate relationship. That You would love me so much to pursue me even after my habitual unfaithfulness to You is astounding. Only because of Your love for me can I remain faithful to You. Sin continues to entice me and will do so throughout the rest of my life but with Your strength and wisdom, I am victorious! Praise Your Holy Name!

1 Timothy 1:1-11 (<<click here)

Lord, this passage has my head spinning! Help me focus on what You would have me see this morning.

Paul says “the law is good when used correctly.” v8 It is important for me to know the law, gaining knowledge of right and wrong but it is to my detriment (and others for that matter)  if a majority of my time is consumed in such pursuits. It’s possible that I can invest too much time in dissecting and discussing minute points of the law.

Again it’s important to know the law. But Paul stresses that “the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful…” v9a

My goal is to be “filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” v5 I am called to live out that love and to proclaim the glorious Good News of salvation through Christ” – through You, Lord!

Being so “law” minded seems to lead us to be too legalistic and judgmental in our interactions with the world – with those who the law is for. But not one of us likes to be berated about our lifestyles and our life choices.

The old adage comes to mind. “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Lord, help me to love others as You love others. Help me to invest myself in them. Help me to be a reflection of You in their lives – genuine, wholesome, transparent, loving, truthful compassionate. Lord, shine through me!

Without a doubt, I believe that You love us. Every encounter recorded in the Gospels (the Good News) that you had with sinners was filled with compassion and understanding. You told them the truth but it was always communicated with love! You didn’t say their sin was acceptable but your overwhelming emphasis was true genuine LOVE! Use me, Lord, to love like You do!

August 22nd, Sat, 7:50 am