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. 

Nailed to the Cross

Father, thank You for this day, yesterday we will put behind us. I struggled with things, some of which I brought right away to You. Others I dwelt on and shouldn’t have. Help me subdue my critical nature especially when it not constructive or uplifting. Help me to be more attuned to You this day – guide and direct my thoughts and action so as to glorify You.

Colossians 2: 11-15

I am so grateful, Lord, that You and You alone provided me with the wonderful gift of salvation. We both know that sin can still trip me up (see above!) but it does not defeat me, it may have the upper hand in a battle here and there but because of You the war is won. And because of my relationship with You I am a conqueror as well! Because I have embraced Your wonderful gift my “sinful nature” has been cut away. Sin can still influence me to a certain point but it does not control me. I am not blinded (or blind-sided) by sin. I clearly see it for what it is and with You by my side it is defeated. I give You praise for forgiving “all [my] sins.” And for “canceling the record of the charges against [me] “ and by taking it “away by nailing it to the cross.”

You get all the credit. Only because of You can I live a life of victory over sin. Help me more and more to stand firm in Your strength. Help my love for You to grow more, and more every day and for that to persuade every aspect of my life.

June 14th, Sun, 6:45 am

Wholly Filled with the Holy

square peg round hole

Father, I’ve struggled this morning. And that’s made me put our time together off. Forgive me for wandering down a side path too far. Give me the strength! The determination to stay on Your straight and narrow path!

Colossians 2:10 (<< click here)

Interesting thoughts in my NLT Application Study Bible on this verse “… you are… complete through your union with Christ…” We all have a “vacuum” in us – a hole that we all feel the need to fill with something – anything. We’re not whole until our hole is filled with the Holy One. Lord, You truly complete us. You fill that niche like nothing, absolutely nothing, can. When we try to do so we get that whole “square peg in a round hole” situation. We end up hurting ourselves and others when we go that route.

And, Lord, when You are in our lives the way You are intended to be, You fill that void in us completely! How often do I try to squeeze something else, something foreign in the space You are in. One thing for sure – it’s not comfortable! Lord make my discomfort so palpable that it’s like having a live bug in my mouth! It is so revolting that I just have to get it out. Let Your holiness fill me wholly!

June 12th, Fri, 8:46 am

Waist-high Pudding

pudding

Father, thank you for a good night’s rest and that You continue to help me throughout busy days. I am so grateful for this time together – it’s the best habit I’ve developed in a long time! Jesus guide me through Your word today.

Colossians 2:8-9 (<< click here)

Lord, You want this mindset not just to apply to Paul and the heresies that threatened the church in Colosse but Your desire is for me to keep my eyes on You and to study Your Word in regards to my life here and now as well.

It is so easy for us to assimilate human thoughts and mindsets into our lives. They are not always in error but they can work their way in so much so that where we at one time would not have even considered them acceptable, now – at worst – just embrace them or – at least – begin doubting why we rejected them in the past.

I feel like I’m trying to make progress through waist-high pudding – Lord, I pray for Your wisdom that I may clearly see and understand Your will. And once Your will is made clear, help me to work it out in my life as You would – strong love comes to mind, firm but not hateful, compassionate but not apathetic. Help me to be strong and courageous as well – to stand up for what is right and to stand against what is wrong. And that applies to both sides of the issue* (Here comes the pudding again!)

Side 1: this way is right / me: no, it is not

Side 1: go my way or I won’t like you / me: it is wrong but I still love you

Side 2: that way is wrong / me: yes, it is

Side 2: let’s hate and reject side 1 people / me: no that is wrong, we must love them – Jesus loves them.

Lord, You love all of us, not just those that follow You and accept Your ways. You love us but by no means do You accept our actions. Help me to be like you – to love others unconditionally but to pointedly reject actions that are opposed to Your word and Your will.

*homosexuality, alcohol, marijuana, extra-marital sex, pornography, other religions, abortion and the list goes on and on!

June 11th, Thurs, 8:07 am

Strong and True

5121963453_4c85314ae9_b

Father, help me to always keep You at the forefront of my life. Through thick and thin, help me to follow You with my whole heart, holding nothing back. Struggles and heartache will surely come but help me to cling to You. Wonderful blessings will surely come, as well, but in those times let the glory go to You and You alone!

Colossians 2:6-7 (<<click here)

…continue to follow CHRIST

…let your roots grow down in CHRIST

…build your lives on CHRIST

Doing these things will cause our faith to grow stronger in truth and will cause our thankfulness to overflow!

Lord, there’s a lot in these two verses! If I am consistent in following You (continue) I will be solidly grounded (roots grow down) and will be enabled to build on You as a solid foundation that will not be moved – my contribution to the building of Your kingdom will be strong and true.

Yesterday’s Our Daily Bread reading ties in here! Deuteronomy 8:11-20 stresses that when we take the credit for the blessings You’ve given us that we will fail! I can’t take the building materials You give me and use them to build what I want, where I want.  A weak foundation and shoddy construction only lead to calamity! When I am obedient and give You the credit my faith will remain strong and gratitude will come naturally.

Lord, help me to always be looking to You for guidance and wisdom and strength and courage to accomplish the tasks a hand. Fill my thoughts and actions, so I will be a light for You shining brightly in a dark world!

June 10, Wed, 7:00 am

Valiant Warrior

Armor of God

Father, so much has transpired since we were last together in this setting. Thank You for all of Your guidance and I am profoundly grateful for Your presence, especially in my time with Beth following the sudden loss of her husband. I could not have done it on my own. Thank You, for helping me get through work yesterday and for Your presence at Bible Study last night. I would ask for Your blessing on our time together this morning.

Colossians 2:1-5 (<< click here)

Lord, humanity likes to think that we are so smart and that we have everything figured out. Things that the Church has held to for centuries are now being questioned. As a pastor, and more importantly as Your child, I need to be planted firmly in my relationship with You. Truth does not change. We cannot tweak it because it not P.C. or because it no longer fits the mind set of society. Only a very small percentage of society is yielded to following Your directives, so it cannot be trusted. Our selfish desires do not build up Your kingdom. We claim great wisdom and knowledge but only in You, Lord, do we find “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” v3. We are deceived if we think otherwise. We are only strong when we place our faith in You.

Lord, strengthen my faith; fill me with Your wisdom. I would ask that You would enable me to discern Your will in all aspects of life. Help me to remember that we do not fight “against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 Help me to be valiant warrior of LOVE. To be strong and courageous, to not give up or give in but to fight bravely and to love mightily!

June 9th, Tue, 10:32 am