Sunday, September 28, 2008

set on fire by hell

I had the opportunity to speak @ C3 today. I talked about the power of our words. 

The key text was James 3:2. He talks about how incredibly hard it is to control the tongue. Even though it is small, it has HUGE potential to do incredible, irreversible damage. James gives some very clear word pictures about the damaging effects that the tongue can cause if we are not careful. 

James 3:6 has a very interesting statement about our tongue. It says "... for it has been set on fire by hell itself."

Wow, that's a pretty graphic statement. Cool choice of words.  I can't wait until someone mouths off or speaks negative or mean. My response is gonna be "your mouth has been set on fire by hell..." I will let you know how it goes.

The point of this statement is that none of us ever get to the place in our lives where we NEVER have to worry about the impact of our words. We can never stop guarding the words we speak. Our words have amazing destructive power and we need to be cautious of how we use them. 

My point: We need to be careful. We need to think before we speak. Once the words leave your mouth it is like a fire. You can't control or reverse the damage they do. Once they are out there, you have to deal with the consequences and they have to deal with the pain you cause.

Think before you speak and never forget the negative potential of your words. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

say it out loud?

I heard someone say to make good decisions you have to have a process between opportunity and decision.

A lot of times when you hear of someone talk about a bad decision they made, you ask them what were they thinking, they respond with "I don't know!" What if there was a way to limit the damage of a decision.  Here is a suggestion on a way to put that process in place: Say it out loud. Say it out loud? - yep

That's right. Before you do something, say it out loud. When you say it out loud put a question mark at the end of it. It helps you be intentional about what you do and takes away most excuses. 

Here is an example. Let's say you are not happy in your relationship and you start talking to someone online. It is intended to be totally harmless but you choose not to tell your spouse. Say that out loud and it would sound something like this - "I am talking to another person instead of talking to my spouse and I am hiding it from my spouse?" - it doesn't sound like a good idea now does it.

Let's try another one. You sit down to eat and have 2 cheeseburgers a large fry and a huge coke. Here is what it would sound like in form of a question. "I am going to spend money so I can eat a lot of incredibly unhealthy fried food that is going to harm my body?"

Here are some quick ones: I am going to say mean and hurtful things to my spouse until she won't forgive me? / I am going to lie until no one can trust me? / I am going to neglect my children and allow them to be raised by video games and the television? / I am going to look at trash on the internet and lie about it? / I am going to ... you fill in the rest of the question.

My point: if you have someone you can trust it is always a great idea to run it by them. If they are not around to talk to, ask yourself. Ask out loud and form it as a question to see if it sounds like a good idea. 

I am going to blog about saying it out loud? - see how good this little nugget of wisdom works...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

praying in Donatos

We had an advisory board meeting tonight at Donatos pizza. We talked some business, finances, direction and then some "God stuff". That is when it got really interesting. 

We started talking about how we gauge or measure spiritual growth and about spiritual gifts. There was an excitement about what God is doing at C3. 

When all the "business" talk was over, we did something totally crazy. We prayed in a pizza joint. It was awesome. None of us were worried about people seeing us and thinking we are strange or wacked out. We saw an opportunity to practically show God's love and did not hesitate to take it. 

I believe C3 is on the brink of super growth. We have spent about 2 years positively influencing our community. Now we have a great reputation in the community and we can show God's love in our words and actions outside of the church building. We are careful not to shove the bible or religion down people's throats. We simply try to be intentional about living what we believe and teach. We don't always do it perfectly, but we do always try. 

My point: We know that other so-called Christians have done an excellent job of throwing mud on the face of Jesus. We are simply trying to wipe off the mud with each tangible/practical act of kindness. We want people to see a difference in the way we live. We hope when they see the difference, it leads to curiosity - which would then lead to conversations. Those conversations would then give us an opportunity to tell people about the God we serve. 

Do people notice a difference in you? Is it a good difference? Do they want what you have? 

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I am amazed when people are so incredibly generous.

There are some amazing people in this world and I know a lot of them go to C3 church. I am humbled by how much some people LOVE blessing others. I believe when people grasp why God blesses them, they want to bless others. 

I have the amazing privilege of being the messenger of blessings in my position. This week, someone made a generous donation to a family that is having some financial struggles. 

The couple that received the blessing is faithful and still tithe although their income has decreased substantially in the past few months. They agreed that tithing was not an option. They believe that God will bless them if they remain faithful to Him. They were right. God's word tells us that if we trust Him with our finances, He will bless us.  

Even if you aren't able to bless others with your finances or material items, you can be generous with your time help people do things. 

My point: Ask yourself "why did God bless me with this" and chances are, if you are listening, the answer will sound something like this: "so you can bless others"... believe it or not, it's not just so you can buy more "stuff" to store in your garage.

Go bless someone. Just watch how GREAT it feels. 

Friday, September 12, 2008

good friend

I love being part of something nice. 

Today I had an opportunity to deliver some flowers for my buddy. Today is their 10 year anniversary and he is out of town. He coordinated some things that would be special to her and topped it off with flowers. Since he is out of town, he had to ask someone to help. I was honored to be a part of a special plan.

This plan wasn't without a few obstacles. The day was mis-communicated. I thought it was for tomorrow. I even put on my calendar for tomorrow. Then we got caught up getting Rae's 9 month pictures - which went way too long. We stopped at their house on the way home to deliver the flowers and she wasn't home. That was a bummer because Deni had to go to Dr's Urgent Care. 

I was texting my buddy the whole time letting him know what was going on. He let me know when she got home but I was without a vehicle with carseats or a stroller that would carry my girls.  

I was determined to get them delivered because I said I would. It all ended well. My wife got home, I jumped in the van and delivered the flowers. She was very happy that she has such a thoughtful and wonderful husband. She said she blushed but I couldn't tell because it was only lit by a porch light. I was honored to be part of this plan. 

I want to have great friends so I will be a great friend. I made sure that the flowers were delivered because I would have wanted them delivered to my wife. I said I would do something and unless I was physically unable, it was gonna get done. 

My point: we reap what we sow. If you want to know what kind of friend you are - look at your friends. Chances are, you are like them. If you don't have anyone you would call a close or good friend, that says something about YOU!!! 

If you want a good friend, be a good friend. 

Happy anniversary to my friends!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

gary fowler 08

It all started as a joke... why not?

my point: I am clearly the most qualified person for the job. It is up to you to make it happen. 

you got my back? (hopefully, I have yours...)

Friday, September 5, 2008

say it with heart

I am learning a lot these days. I have had to have some conversations that could have gone very wrong and ended up hurting some people I care about. 

As I thought about what I wanted to say and how that would come across, I began getting frustrated because I didn't want to hurt anyone. Then the clarifying question was asked: "how would I want someone to talk to me about this". 

That question helped me go into the conversations with the right heart. One thing I keep in the front of my mind is that even if I am mad, frustrated or hurt by someone, God loves them just as much as He loves me. When you have a conversation with a loving & pure heart, where your motives are to confront out of care, it is amazing what God will do. 

I believe God was honored with the heart and outcome of the conversations. The conversations could've gone really bad and drove people & families far away from God. Instead because of prayer and humility, God softened the hearts of all involved and I truly feel like I am closer to them now because of the heart and attitude involved in the conversations.

My point: We all have a way we choose to communicate, but that isn't necessarily the best way. When we look at people the way God looks at them, it is possible to see the pain or hurt behind the other persons words or actions. We need to care enough about what God cares about (people) to talk to others the way we would want to be talked to - with understanding and love. 

I don't always do this, but I will always try from now on. Especially now that I see it can actually strengthen relationships. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

seagull attack

I hate when people give critical opinions with absolutely no intent to help fix the problem or overcome the obstacle. 

Some people think they are offering you such an amazing service by telling you everything wrong with you, your family, kids, place of work... Some people just refuse to be positive. I will now refer to these people as "seagulls".

A seagull flies in, craps all over everything and flies out. 

When you only offer critical observations (you can call it constructive criticism but when there is nothing constructive, it's called crap), you are a seagull. When you complain and gossip you will attract other complainers and gossip mongers. You attract who you are. 

Look around at the people you hang out with. Here is a reality check - YOU ARE LIKE THEM!!!

You may think you are not but seagulls fly with other seagulls, just like wolves run in packs. You flock of seagulls fly around, do nothing of value, you don't help contribute to the better good, you simply find your target and crap all over it -then get out. The target is usually some unsuspecting, innocent victim who is trying to do their best by making positive changes or improve something. 

My point: It is ok to have a critical eye but not a critical heart. If you find yourself constantly tearing things down, you are a seagull. Be honest enough with yourself to admit it and change. 

Begin being critical of yourself first - I guess you can't do that because crapping on yourself is gross...