Posts belonging to Category Personal



Questions and Answers about Our Upcoming Move

I know people may have some questions about our upcoming move, so I thought I would answer them here.

1. Why are you leaving your present church?

    We are moving for family reasons and to be closer to family back south.

    Are you leaving because of conflict in the church? No. Agawam Church is a wonderful, peaceable church family with little to no conflict. I would not want the news of my moving to reflect badly on the church in any way.

    Are you leaving because you were caught in some sin? Ooh, the juicy stuff. No. Although I confess sin daily, I am not being asked to step down because of some disqualifying sin in my life.

    Are you leaving because of financial reasons? No. Agawam Church of the Bible has always provided well for me and my family.

2. Where are you going?

    I wish I knew! We are focusing on Florida, Georgia and Texas, but we want to remain open to wherever God might lead us.

3. When are you planning to move?

    The “when” depends on a number of things, including the “where” in the list above! We are probably looking at a 3-6 month window before we can move. We need to find a new place of ministry, we need to sell our home, and we need to make sure there is a smooth transition for our church on this end.

4. Does your church know you are leaving?

    Yes. This is something that I have been discussing with the church elders for some time and shared with the church family several weeks ago.

5. What kind of a church are you looking for?

    I have served mostly in Baptist and independent churches. I am committed to expository preaching from God’s Word, teaching and discipleship, missions and evangelism. You can find more information about me at my Pastoral Profile page.

6. Is there anything we can do to help?

    Yes. You can help me network by passing my information on to any churches you know that may be looking for a pastor. If you are a blogger, feel free to mention our move as a point of interest and post a link to my profile. Also, please email me if you know of an open church opportunity.

    And you can pray.

          1) Pray for us as we seek the new place God has for us.
          2) Pray for a smooth transition for Agawam Church of the Bible.
          3) Pray for the new pastor God will be calling ACB’s way.

Thanks! We look forward to seeing where God would have us serve next.

Related posts:
    • Church Search
    • Big Change for the Fowler Family
    • Pastoral Profile

Big Change for the Fowler Family

I would appreciate your prayers for us at this time as we are looking at moving back south to be closer to family. We are now in our fifth year here at Agawam Church of the Bible. I am going to miss this church and all the wonderful people here, but it is time for us to go.

We are still looking for God’s next place for us, so if you know of any churches that are looking for pastors, please pass this information along. We are especially looking at Florida, Georgia, or along the Gulf Coast of Texas, but we want to go where God calls us and are seeking his will in this first.

I have put together a Pastoral Profile Page with materials for prospective churches: resume, ministry statement, statement of faith, theology of ministry, family profile, and sermon links. Click here to access the Pastoral Profile Page.

Once again, please pass this information on to any interested churches you may know. Thank you!

Related posts:
    • Church Search
    • Questions and Answers about Our Upcoming Move
    • Pastoral Profile

Chargoggagogg-manchauggagogg-chaubunagungamaugg

Lake Webster | Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg
                                    Photo: Bree Bailey [Flickr]

Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg! That’s the name of a lake in Webster, Massachusetts (and the longest place name in the United States). I first learned about it in grade school and actually memorized it. Years later I can still roll the name off my tongue, and believe it or not, I can even spot the two misspelled letters in the sign above.

In an embarrassing mistake, officials in Massachusetts have been forced to admit that some road signs pointing to Lake Chargoggagogg-manchauggagogg-chaubunagungamaugg have spelling mistakes in them.

The typos, which are completely baffling considering how easy it is to spell Lake Chargoggagogg-manchauggagogg-chaubunagungamaugg, were revealed by a local newspaper, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, which has been covering the misspelling scandal since 2003.

Legend has it that two Indian tribes disputing fishing rights gave the lake its long Indian name which means: “You fish on your side, I fish on my side, and nobody fish in the middle.” It’s a fun story which unfortunately was later debunked. But somehow that’s how I still think about the lake after all these years.

HT: Neatorama

So how’s Mr. Mom doing?

Well, after a full day of cooking, cleaning, driving, shopping, homeschooling, grading and keeping house, one of my sons said to me, “Dad, you look beat!” Then he thought for a minute and added, “You look like Mom usually does around this time of day.” I told Rose, and she loved it.

Click here for more Mr. Mom posts.

The Return of Mr. Mom

Rose is off to Texas for a couple weeks to visit her parents, so I am back to playing Mr. Mom. If I do anything stupid, I will be sure to let you know. (Isn’t that what blogs are for?) Meanwhile, you can catch up on earlier installments of Mr. Mom here:

Giving Up Church for Lent

Lenten Series:
    1. What is Lent?
    2. Should Christians Celebrate Lent?
    3. What is Ash Wednesday?
    4. Should I Give Something Up for Lent?
    5. Giving Up Church for Lent

I once received a phone call from a woman who told me she would not be at church for the next several weeks. I asked her if she was going away, and she replied, “No, I’m giving up church for Lent.” I said, “Excuse me?” and she said, “I’m giving up church for Lent.” I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” She explained that she observes Lent every year and that this year she wanted to give up something that really meant a lot to her. She loves going to church and thought that would be a perfect thing to give up for Lent. I tried to talk her out of it, but she was determined. True to her word, she didn’t come back to church until Easter Sunday. She told me later, “I really missed church. It was a big sacrifice for me.”

My thoughts? Well, I agree if you are going to give up something for God, it should be something meaningful, rather than just chocolate or American Idol. (See my earlier post: Should I Give Something Up for Lent?) But somehow I don’t think God wants you to give up things like church attendance, Bible reading, or prayer. What is the strangest thing you have ever heard someone giving up for Lent?

The Smell of Spring

I stepped outside this morning, and the smell of spring was in the air. Actually it was the smell of skunk, but that’s close enough for me. Sometime last night Jimmy Skunk stumbled out of his hibernation hole and let off a fresh spray, announcing his presence to the world. Sure, it’s cold outside and there’s still snow on the ground, but it’s a sign I tell you. Old Man Winter is laying down arms, ready to yield pride of place to Lady Spring. Everything old is new again, and buds and blossoms will soon be back in style. All that’s missing are a few robins to grace my backyard.

Fowler Family Christmas Project

Fowler Christmas Photo

Here is a recording project our whole family worked on together over the Christmas vacation. Don’t let the piano intro fool you. The actual song kicks in after about 20 seconds. Enjoy!

Angels

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    – Recorded and produced by Sam Fowler
    – Arranged by Sam and Rose Fowler
    – Lead vocal by Rose Fowler
    – Guitars by Sam Fowler
    – Piano by Ramón Fowler
    – Percussion by Timothy Fowler
    – Background vocals by Rose and Ray Fowler

So, what did you do over your Christmas vacation?

Related posts:
    • A Very Merry Guitar Christmas from Sam Fowler
    • Guess the Famous Christmas Trees

When Fall Comes to New England

We have had a beautiful fall here in New England this year. Enjoy the great word pictures Cheryl Wheeler weaves together in this song while checking out some of the pictures my wife, Rose, took around our neighborhood this fall.

Click “►” button to play | Length: 3:16

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Cheryl Wheeler: “When Fall Comes to New England” (Available on the following CDs: When October Goes and Driving Home)

    Across our driveway
Across our driveway

    Looking down our street
Looking down our street

    Front flower garden
Front flower garden

    Butterfly
Butterfly

    Up close
Up close

    Spread wings
Spread wings

    Neighbor’s house
Neighbor

    Carpet of leaves
Carpet of leaves

Your Life Story in Six Words

Can you tell your life story in six words? Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s famous six-word short story (“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”), that’s what SMITH magazine editors Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser asked their online readers in 2006. They have now collected a number of these six-word autobiographies and published them in the book, Not Quite What I Was Planning (notice the number of words in the title).

Here are some examples from the book:

Brought it to a boil, often. (Mario Batali, chef)
Couldn’t cope, so I wrote songs. (Aimee Mann, singer, songwriter)
Maybe you had to be there. (Roy Blount Jr., humorist)
Cursed with cancer. Blessed by friends. (9 year old Hannah Davies)
Struggled with how the mind works. (Steven J. Pinker, psychologist)
Nobody cared, then they did. Why? (Chuck Klosterman, journalist)
Well, I thought it was funny. (Stephen Colbert, comedian)
Revenge is living well, without you. (Joyce Carol Oates, author)
Woke up. Went back to sleep. (Anonymous)
No wife. No kids. No problems. (Rip Riley)
I still make coffee for two. (Zak Nelson)
Yes, you can edit this biography. (Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder)

Here was my first attempt: “God, family, church; Bible, music, books.” Not very creative, too much of a list, but it does capture the main influences in my life.

Next I tried this one: “Met Christ; married Rose; had boys.” This one is more event-oriented. It does capture the three primary events in my life, but it still seemed too cut and dry.

So I finally decided on this: “New creation in Christ – everything changes.” This one is based on my life verse and pretty much sums it all up for me. Christ entered my life and changed everything. Everything good I have in my life I owe to him. He is still changing me day by day, and one day I will stand complete in his presence. It doesn’t get much better than that.

How about you? Feel free to share your six-word autobiography in the comments section. And if you are really brave, you can also submit it to SMITH magazine for the next edition of their book. (I did! You can find it here: Six-Word Memoir by Ray Fowler)

MY LIFE VERSE:  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The Bigger the Summer

The bigger the summer … the harder the fall! The autumnal equinox is still twenty days away, but for most of us here in the U.S. the day after Labor Day marks the end of summer and kicks off the new fall schedule.

As homeschool parents who begin the new year of school for our kids on this day, we are particularly aware of the change in schedule. Churches often start a whole new schedule for the year in September, too.

How about you? Does your schedule change significantly in the fall or do things stay mostly the same?

Back from Vacation

“He’s baaaaacccck!” As you may have gathered from yesterday’s post (Classic Definition of Vacation), I am back to work after several weeks of vacation. I enjoyed some quiet time at home with my family as well as visiting with relatives. I would like to thank my wonderful church family for granting me vacation time, the church elders who preached in my absence, and everyone who pitched in to “fill in the gaps” while I was gone. It’s good to be back! (And no, I have not shaved off my vacation beard yet.)