Friday, December 20, 2013

As Christ Loved the Church

This is part two of our look at how we can apply 1 Corinthians 11:1 to our leadership of our families. 

1 Corinthians 11:1
Amplified Bible (AMP)
11 Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).
I think we could all work on this.

Ephesians 5:25-28

New International Version (NIV)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

We are told to love our wives just as Christ loved the church.  He loved the church so much that he gave himself up for it.  He sacrificed his life for the church and expects us to do the same for our wives.  I found this article that talks about this topic and I thought the following paragraph was really good.
“And let’s be clear about something else. Many of us, when considering the idea of giving our life for our spouse, think about jumping in front of a bullet for them. Or we envision some hypothetical situation where we sacrifice ourselves to save them. That’s good, but we often miss the much more common – and more difficult – way we are called to give our lives for them. It isn’t in some hypothetical situation that we find in action movies. It’s what we are faced with every single morning when we wake up. It’s the everyday, ordinary ways we serve them. It’s always having them at the center of your thoughts and intentions. It’s waking up in the morning and thinking about your wife before you think about yourself. Serving her in every little thing you do before serving yourself. It’s radical – just like the vows you made.”

I think we find the ultimate example of Christ’s love in this verse.

Luke 22:42

New International Version (NIV)
42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Jesus obviously didn’t really want to go to the cross, but he laid aside what he really wanted to do and did what was required of him. 

Here’s how I think this applies to us.  We are called to sacrifice ourselves for our wives, whatever that entails.  It may not be what we really want, but the needs of our wives need to come before our needs and wants.  That could mean a lot of things.
It could mean that if your wife needs or desires something then we make sure that she gets whatever that is.  Even if it means that we have to do without something that we need or desire.

If your wife needs time away then provide it for her. Even if it means letting her spend some time out with friends and you taking care of the kids.

If your wife needs help with the house, then do it.  Sacrifice some time and whatever your idea of what a man’s job is and help her with the dishes, cleaning, laundry, or whatever needs to be done.

If your wife needs more of you then make some sacrifices.  That could mean less time with our buddies, less time at the range, less time fishing or hunting, less time playing golf. I think this quote from Rick Warren really applies here.

“The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.”
― Rick Warren

The list could go on and on.

I think we will find that if we start sacrificing our desires that we can fulfill the need and desires of our wives then it will be well worth the sacrifice.  We will probably find that are willing to make some sacrifices for us as well.  

So guys let’s step up for our wives and make the sacrifices that she needs. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Family Servants

It's been a long time since I posted a blog.  I recently started a men's group on Facebook. I created it to encourage and challenge the men in the group.Well recently I've had 1 Corinthians 11:1 on my
1 Corinthians 11:1
Amplified Bible (AMP)
11 Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).

So I'm posting several small studies on how this verse applies to us leading our families.

If you are interested in joining the men's group you can find it at

This was the first post on being servant leaders to our families.

Family Servants

Philippians 2:6-7
New International Version (NIV)
Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[
b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
John 13:3-5
Amplified Bible (AMP)
[That] Jesus, knowing (fully aware) that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was [now] returning to God,
Got up from supper, took off His garments, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He fastened it around His waist.
Then He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the [servant’s] towel with which He was girded.
If Jesus is our ultimate example then we need to follow his lead.

Philippians 2:5

New International Version (NIV)
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
 To be the men that our family needs we need to become servant leaders to them.
So what is a servant leader?
In the Greek the word for servant is duolos which means.
  1. a slave, bondman, man of servile condition
    1. a slave
    2. metaph., one who gives himself up to another's will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men
    3. devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests
  2. a servant, attendant
The Hebrew word for leader is "nagiyd." It pictures a person under authority who fulfills the wishes of that authority. God wants leaders who will listen to His will and execute it faithfully with divinely appointed authority. The related Greek word for leadership is "diakonia." This literally means serving at tables.
Servant leadership is both a leadership philosophy and set of leadership practices. Traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid.” By comparison, the servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.
Scholars generally agree that these characteristics are central to the development of a servant-leader:
  • Listening: A servant leader puts the emphasis upon listening effectively to others.
  • Empathy: A servant leader needs to understand others' feelings and perspectives.
  • Healing: A servant leader helps foster each person's emotional and spiritual health and wholeness.
  • Awareness: A servant leader understands his or her own values and feelings, strengths and weaknesses.
  • Persuasion: A servant leader influences others through their persuasiveness.
  • Conceptualization: A servant leader needs to integrate present realities and future possibilities.
  • Stewardship: A servant leader is a steward who holds a families resources in trust for the greater good.
  • Commitment to the growth of people: A servant leader is responsible for serving the need of others.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Luke 2:26
26 But this is not to be so with you; on the contrary, let him who is the greatest among you become like the youngest, and him who is the chief and leader like one who serves.
"A Godly Leader finds strength by realizing his weakness, finds authority by being under authority, finds direction by laying down his own plans, finds vision by seeing the needs of others, finds credibility by being an example, finds loyalty by expressing compassion, finds honor by being faithful, finds greatness by being a servant."
--Roy Lessin
According to John Maxwell
“True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned.  It comes only from influence, and that can’t be mandated.  It must be earned.  The only thing a title can buy is a little time – either to increase your level of influence with others or to erase it.”
So men lets step up step up into our roles as servant leaders.  Our families are waiting for us to.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Very Blessed Year in Pictures

As I talked about previously Sandra  and I have been in the process of adopting 3 kids. The process started over 8 months ago and was finally finalized about 2 weeks ago. I couldn't post any pictures until after the adoption was final. This is our first family picture from back before Christmas.

 A more recent picture a couple of weeks ago on our first family vacation.

 Then a few months ago we got a little surprise.

 Seth Edward Fowler is due on November 17.

Well with our expanding family our 1600 square foot 3 bedroom home was no longer big enough so we were blessed with this one.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Shepherds of Our Families

We had our monthly men's fellowship this past Friday and once again I brought the message.  I guess I'm starting to get used to this teaching thing.  
Sandra and I share the responsibility of teaching the College/Career class at our church.  Right now we doing a study on David loosely based on Beth Moore's book A Heart Like His.  The message I brought to the men at our fellowship was actually based on a study we did on David's shephereds heart making him a good king.  I didn't really think about it, until Sandra mentioned it to me, but it also applies to us as men and fathers as well.  

Shepherds of Our Families
A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way.
    Author: Leonard Ravenhill

 Psalm 78:70-72

New International Version (NIV)

70 He chose David his servant
   and took him from the sheep pens;
71 from tending the sheep he brought him
   to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
   of Israel his inheritance.
72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
   with skillful hands he led them.
So even though he didn’t know it David had been in training to be King his whole life.  The position of shepherd was training David to be the shepherd of his people that God would call him to be. His shepherds heart is what would make him a great king.
Let’s take a look at what the Hebrew word for heart is.
Ancient Hebrew Word Meanings
Heart ~ lev
By Jeff A. Benner

Here is an example of our modern western culture still using a concrete object to express an abstract idea. We often associate the heart with emotions such as love and kindness as in "He has a good heart". This is also true with the Hebrews who saw the heart as the seat of emotion. But unlike us they also saw the heart as the seat of thought whereas we see the brain as the seat of thought. To the ancient Hebrews the heart was the mind including all thoughts including emotions. When we are told to love God with all our heart (Deut 6:5) it is not speaking of an emotional love but to keep our emotions and all our thoughts working for him. The first picture in this Hebrew word is a shepherd staff and represents authority as the shepherd has authority over his flock. The second letter is the picture of the floor plan of the nomadic tent and represents the idea of being inside as the family resides within the tent. When combined they mean "the authority within".

Characteristics of a shepherd that are good for a Man.
A good shepherd always knew the habits and characteristics of his sheep and could predict their behavior and understand their peculiarities. The shepherd knew the characteristics of his sheep so well that he was never surprised or caught off guard by their actions.

John 10:14

New International Version (NIV)
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—

A good shepherd was always at ease with his sheep, comfortable with their company, and enjoyed the responsibility of taking care of them. But, the life of the shepherd was extremely hard; never off duty and never any time off from his shepherd responsibilities.

A good shepherd would sometimes have to discipline his sheep. Because fields of grass were sometimes hard to find, the sheep were prone to wander looking for grazing opportunities.

Therefore, the shepherd had to keep constant watch over his flock. One rebellious sheep could lead the other sheep astray. So the shepherd would break the legs of the wayward sheep to prevent it from straying away from the flock and leading other sheep astray.

Hebrews 12:11

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
11 We don’t enjoy being disciplined. It always seems to cause more pain than joy. But later on, those who learn from that discipline have peace that comes from doing what is right.

After this disciplining process, the shepherd would then carry the sheep on his own back to teach the sheep that, even though the sheep needed discipline from the shepherd, the shepherd still loved the sheep deeply. Being carried on the back of the shepherd, the sheep developed a more intimate relationship with the shepherd.

The shepherd’s task was not only constant but also dangerous because he had to guard his flock against wild animals and against thieves and robbers. Constant vigilance, fearless, courage, and patient love were necessary characteristics of the shepherd.

Lastly, the shepherd was responsible for taking care of the physical diseases that his sheep might contract.

Ezekiel 34:16

New International Version (NIV)
16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

A good shepherd’s responsibility, then, was to provide for all the needs of his sheep. Food, water, direction, protection, and healing were all his responsibility.
How are these good qualities for a Man to have?
A Man who is the shepherd of his family knows his family.  He understands how they act and think.  He knows them so well that he is not caught off guard by their actions.
A Man who is the shepherd of his family loves his family and enjoys leading them. He will discipline them when needed, and protect them at all times.  Constant vigilance, fearless, courage, and patient love are necessary characteristics of a Man who is the shepherd of his family.

Isaiah 40:11

New International Version (NIV)
11 He tends his flock(family) like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young