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. 

Keep a Strong Grip

It’s taken me a bit to get to this point this morning, Father, but I am ready to hear what You have for me. Help me to focus, giving You my attention.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 (<<click here)

Lord, I know it’s just a matter of time until You return. Your word is clear…it’s not an “if” but a “when.” As I cast my eyes over the landscape of this world evil is truly rampant – sin and all of its repercussions is in every quadrant. It may be winning millions of skirmishes but its defeat is ultimate inevitable. It’s difficult to grasp the fact that it can get any worse – but it will. Many spend an exuberant amount of time trying to figure out all the particulars but all I need to know is that it will get worse but evil will not have the final say!

Lord, help me to live out Pauls’ exhortation to “stand firm” and to “keep a strong grip on the teaching” I have received from You and from the followers after Your own heart. And I would ask that my overarching motivation would be the assurance that Your love and grace gives me – not temporary – but eternal comfort and a wonderful hope.” And may that assurance “comfort…and strengthen [me] in every good thing [I] do and say.” Thank You, Jesus, for all You are to me.

August 19th, Wed, 6:54 am

Prayer Struggle

Father, You have blessed me with so many wonderful things, family being one of them I am so grateful to have people in my life who love me and care for me. And I am also grateful that I can love and care for them as well. We are blessed to have each other. We accept each other (for the most part) for who we are – warts and all. Thank You for Your wonderful blessing of family.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (<<click here)

Lord, no matter which way we look at it prayer is foundational in our daily walk with You – or at least it most certainly should be! I must confess I struggle to pray. If You would have me evaluate myself, the place where I have the most opportunity for growth and improvement would be my prayer life. I have made some headway in latter months but I know I can go much deeper and wider in my intimate interaction with You. I realize prayer is more than “grace” before meals and praying from the pulpit. These are very important, as well, but if my personal prayer life isn’t what it should be every aspect of my life is inhibited.

How can I effectively pray asking You to “enable [others] to live a life worthy of [Your] call.” v11a if I struggle with prayer? I can only be more effective by persevering. I cannot give up! I benefit myself and others by that perseverance.

Help me, Lord, to do so that You will give me the “power to accomplish all the good things [our] faith prompts [us and others] to do.” v11b Then only because of Your grace in our lives will Your name “be honored because of the way [we] live…” v12a

Lord, help me to be drawn to You throughout the moments of my day.

August 18th, Tues, 5:49 am

Poke the Bear?

Good morning, Father. Thank You for answered prayers; for getting us here safely. I am so grateful for opportunities to be with family and to meet new people. Please bless this day as we gather to worship You. Be with Eric as he stands before the churches You have given me. Bless him; bless them. May we all be challenged and fed.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (<< click here)

As I begin this epistle, Lord, I see another aspect of Paul’s personality. It’s easy to think of Paul as a “tough- love” kind of guy. He was a great leader and by no means did he shy away from dealing with difficult issues or situations. You chose him because of those traits buy You also chose him because he so personified Your love – he fleshed it out. He loved the church in Thessalonica but he had to deal with some thorny issues. His love didn’t make him hesitant to correct them and their deviation from the acceptable didn’t make him hesitant to love them. Getting to the point- he was You to them!

Lord, I would ask that You would enable me to be that kind of leader – for that matter, that those traits would emanate from me as a follower as well. It’s easy to want to avoid difficult situations (and people) and sometimes “poking the bear” isn’t the best course of action but sometimes in order to move forward things have to be addressed. Help me to know the difference. And regardless of what the response should be help me to respond in Your love. May it be genuine, not self-seeking, or self-preserving. May it be sacrificial if need be. Help me to be a reflection of You.

August 9th, Sun, 6:49 am – TX time 🙂

I Cannot Sanctify Myself

Father, as I look ahead to the next several days I would ask for Your watch care over my family. Keep us safe and keep us in the center of Your will. Help us to love each other and to make the most of our time together. Help me to keep my heart fixed upon You – to be motivated by what You would do. Help me to be a true reflection of You in all I say and do.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-28 (<<click here)

Lord, me being holy (my sanctification) is wholly dependent upon You. I cannot sanctify myself. Some days it feels as though I can barely keep myself pointed in the right direction. All I can really do is to totally (spirit, soul, and body) give myself over to You. You have given me a free will and I willingly give my life over to You. Who but the creator of me would know best. You alone know what is now (in its entirety) and what will be (in all its possibilities).

Again, Lord, Paul refers to You as “the God of peace” and again, from the many experiences in my life, I know most assuredly that true peace is found only in You. Any peace I can generate is short lived – and probably even that little bit rightly must be attributed to You.

Only You can make me holy. Only you keep me blameless in my entirety (spirit, soul, and body). Only You “will make this happen” for You call me and You are faithful. You are my everything. I find completion only in You. Help me to be all You want me to be! Help me to live my life to the fullest – fulfilling Your call with every breath!  Amen – so be it!

August 8th, 2015, Sat, 5:59 am

Seeing Through the Layers

Father, thank You for a productive and enjoyable day with Karen yesterday. Thank You for Your watch care over us. Thank You for our relationship. I am truly blessed! Bless her this day, Father, and help me to love her more and more each day.

1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 (<<click here)

Lord, this is a good reminder from Paul. Lots of things are proclaimed in my world. Some are obviously true and some are blatantly false. The challenge comes with those things that are in between – things that are not so clearly black and white. I am so grateful that You are there to help me to discern what is good and what is evil. Help me to listen to Your direction. Our natural tendency is to just go with the flow – we don’t wait to stick out – we want everyone to like us. Just because good people around us accept something or someone as good doesn’t mean that that is the case. And sometimes good people reject something or someone because they label them as evil and unfortunately the “love” factor is totally rejected as well. Again, Lord I ask for discernment. Sometimes the crowd is right but sometimes Your desire is for us to see through the layers. Many wear masks – in both the realms of good and evil. Help me to see through the duplicity of some who claim to be good but who are hiding things detrimental to Your kingdom. Then help me to read between the lines, to hear between the words to see under the layers of protection to see those that many would just right off as useless. God is at the core – help me not to miss it. Help me not to just reject them because they don’t measure up to acceptable norms.

August 7th, Fri, 7:48 am