I just started a Twitter account @RayFowler for those of you who may be interested. The purpose is to share encouraging thoughts or links and fun stuff as it happens. Here is the link if you want to follow along: https://twitter.com/RayFowler. Also hoping to get this blog jump-started again. If you have any Twitter advice for me, please chime in. I’m an old hand at blogging, but Twitter is something new for me.
Posts belonging to Category Personal
After three years back in the business world, I am now heading back into pastoral ministry. On Sunday October 7th Plantation Community Church voted to call me as their next Senior Pastor starting December 1st. I served on staff at PCC from 1994-2004, so we have many dear friends and memories at this church. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers as I prepare to transition out of Verizon and back into the ministry.
My son Sam just graduated from high school. Here is his subliminal graduation announcement:
Sam is donE Now with his high school stuDies.
MOm aNd dad arE verY proud.
Our family is of Mexican heritage, so I definitely wanted to mark this occasion. Allen Yeh over at the Scriptorium has put together a nice article on this 200th anniversary for Mexico:
Two hundred years ago today (September 16, 1810), Mexico received its independence from Spain. A lot of Americans mistakenly think that May 5th (Cinco de Mayo) is Mexico’s independence day. Actually, Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday celebrated only in one part of Mexico (the state of Puebla). September 16 is the big day for the whole country.
Today is not the only significant celebration of Mexico this year—in about two months, Mexico will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its revolution, which occurred on November 20, 1910! So, enjoy these next few months of fiesta. Our neighbors to the south will be partying it up, celebrating the bicentennial of their independence, and the centennial of their revolution.
Allen also lists a number of interesting facts about Mexico. Here are the first three:
- Remember that California belonged to Mexico before it belonged to the United States of America. Back then, it was called Alta (“Upper”) California, as opposed to the peninsula to our south, Baja (“Lower”) California.
- The official name of Mexico is the United Mexican States. There are 31 states in the nation, of which Baja California is one. Mexico City is not part of any state but instead is a special territory called Distrito Federal (“D.F.”), just like Washington is part of the District of Columbia (“D.C.”).
- The “x” in Mexico is pronounced like a Spanish “j” because it comes from the Aztec language (Nahuatl), not from Castillian Spanish.
Be sure to visit Allen’s post for more information and fun facts about Mexico. Here is the link: Happy 200th Birthday, Mexico!
As many of you know I am currently in between churches and looking for work. This is a tough economy to be looking for work in, and there is not a lot of movement in churches either. Pastors that might normally have been open to move are staying put, while older pastors who had been looking at retirement suddenly find they need to keep working. This is actually a good thing for many churches who can use the stability, but it makes it tough when you are trying to transition into a church.
So, in the meantime I am trying not to waste my unemployment. This is a time to grow in my faith and dependence on the Lord and an opportunity to give testimony to his faithfulness. I am extra conscious of the fact that I need God’s daily provision, and the prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread,” has taken on new meaning for me.
The truth is, we are always daily dependent on God. Even when we have steady employment, we need to recognize that God is the one who provides and look to him, not our job, for security. “Everything I have today, I have because of God.” God has been faithful, and he has provided for all our needs.
Of course, I am also working hard at being productive during this time. In between job searches and resumes, I have been able to make good use of these extra hours God has given me each day. I have taught myself some new skills and worked on some larger projects. The end result so far is the birth of a new business and the completion of a book project. I will be sharing about both of these with you in the coming days, so stay tuned. In the meantime, thank you for your prayers for me and my family during this time of transition.
(Note: New posts are below. This post automatically bumps to the top.)
I am currently seeking God’s will for his next place of ministry for us as a family. If you know of a church that is looking for a pastor, please pass this information on to them. Thank you! Click here for my Pastoral Profile page.
(Note: For ebook and audiobook conversions, see Fowler Digital Services.)
Note to self: Do not put Kindle on top of car, then drive away letting Kindle fall into street in front of home. Also, do not leave Kindle in street overnight, exposing it to rain and passing cars. If you do, it will look like this:
Happy ending: Fortunately, when I bought my Kindle I purchased the 2-Year Extended Warranty which provides full coverage for accidental damage. Amazon sent me a brand new Kindle the next day fully loaded with all my books, notes and highlights in place and ready to read. Thanks, Amazon!
(Note: For ebook and audiobook conversions, see Fowler Digital Services.)
It has been a while since I gave you all a personal update about our family situation, so I will take care of that right now. When we last left the Fowler family on the blog (Update on the Fowler Move), I was still in Massachusetts waiting to close on the house, while Rose was in Florida with the boys looking for housing down here. I had asked for prayer for two very specific areas: housing and employment.
Well, a lot has happened since then. We are now in a beautiful rental home in Plantation, FL with plenty of space for our family (Rose, me, three teenage boys, and two dogs). There were many answers to prayer along the way for this to happen including: the use of a guest house in Florida while looking for housing, a buyer for our house in Massachusetts during a down economy, a smooth process for housing inspections and closing, two friends who drove all the way up from Florida to Massachusetts to help me load the truck and drive it back down to Florida, lots of people helping with packing and unloading on both ends, safe traveling all the way down to Florida, and friends who took our dogs into their home until we could get into the rental home. The way the rental home came about was also an example of God’s clear leading and provision for which we are thankful.
As far as employment, I am now officially in between churches. It feels strange not being a pastor after twenty-plus years in the ministry, but it gives me the opportunity to serve God and the church in a different way, so I am grateful for that. In the meantime, God has provided me with some temporary freelance audio work for which I am very thankful during this time of high unemployment.
God has answered so many prayers for us during this time of transition, and we are so thankful to anyone and everyone who has been praying for us. We appreciate your continued prayers as we continue to seek God’s will concerning his next place of ministry for us as a family.
Hello everyone. Here is a long overdue update on our family. We have been busy looking at churches and working on selling our home for the past six months. Although I have spoken with a number of churches over the summer, so far the Lord has not opened the door to our next place of ministry.
I moved Rose and the boys down to Florida at the end of September, and then flew back to Massachusetts to continue pastoring and work on selling the house. God provided a buyer the day after I got home! So I have been busy packing the house and will drive down to Florida with all our stuff in just a couple of weeks. In the meantime I still do not have employment.
Here are a couple of ways you can be praying for us right now:
- Housing in Florida: Rose is diligently looking for a home for us to rent in Florida. We need something at a reasonable rate with enough space to hold us, our pets, and our “stuff.” We are looking for a month-to-month lease (very difficult), a garage for storage, and a move-in date of November 19th. Please pray for the Lord’s provision.
- Job: As I mentioned above, I have spoken with several churches but still do not have anything definite. I am also applying for teaching and tutoring positions in the Fort Lauderdale area. If I do not have employment by the time I get to Florida, I will fly back and continue pastoring at my present church probably until the end of the year. I am really missing my family and need to get back to them as soon as possible. Please pray for employment that will meet the needs of our family and also provide health insurance.
Thank you for your prayers for our family during this time of transition.
It was the 1970’s, and I was a teenager with long, shaggy hair. My mom was driving me someplace when I spotted the sign in the barber shop window — “Ask for Wildroot!” I thought, “How cool is that? A barber named Wildroot!”
For weeks I couldn’t get this Wildroot character out of my mind. What was he like? Why did he have such a crazy name? I figured he must be the mad scientist of all barbers. I imagined he looked like Albert Einstein, but with a crazed look in his eye, holding a comb in one hand with a straight razor in the other. Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer. I made a decision. I was going to get my hair cut by this madman of a barber named Wildroot.
The barber shop was a couple towns over, so I jumped on my trusty bike and headed out for my haircut adventure. I parked my bike outside the barber shop and walked right in the front door. The shop was empty so I called out in a loud voice, “Hey, is Wildroot in?” An older man walked out from the back. He wore glasses and had a moustache. I asked him, “Are you Wildroot?” He said, “I don’t know. What do you mean?” I told him, “I saw your sign a couple weeks ago, and it said to ask for Wildroot. I want to get my hair cut by a barber named Wildroot, so I’m asking for Wildroot.” He didn’t hesitate. “Yeah, I’m Wildroot. Go ahead, hop up in the chair.” “All right!” I said.
“Yeah, I’m Wildroot,” he said, as he tied the apron around my neck. “How do you want your hair cut?” Wildroot was a spry old man. He jumped back and forth and danced around as he gave me the haircut of my life. Every few minutes he would stop and say, “Yeah, I’m Wildroot!” as he clipped some more hair off the top of my head. When he was done, I counted off the money for him, and said, “Thanks, Wildroot! Great haircut!” He said, “No problem, son. Come back anytime, and remember … always ask for Wildroot!” I biked home feeling strangely pleased and got home just in time for supper.
We sat down at the table, and my mom commented, “You got a haircut!” “I sure did,” I said. “Remember that barber shop we passed a couple weeks ago, the one that had the sign in it that said, ‘Ask for Wildroot?’ Well, I really wanted to get my hair cut by a barber named Wildroot, so I biked over there today and asked for Wildroot. He was there all right, and he gave me the best haircut I’ve ever had!” I practically beamed with pride.
My parents exchanged glances, and then my mom said, “Raymond, I’m not sure how to tell you this, but Wildroot isn’t the name of a barber. It’s a hair tonic. That’s what the sign means. It means to ask for a certain brand of hair tonic when you get your hair cut.” I was floored! I couldn’t believe it! The old man wasn’t Wildroot after all. He had just picked up on my mistake and played along for the fun of it.
Needless to say, I was very embarrassed and never did go back to that particular barbershop. But I will always remember that haircut; and the lively old man with the glasses and moustache will always be Wildroot to me.