Bart Fowler

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July 21, 2015
Thanksgiving

Contentment and Thanksgiving

How content am I in God’s love? It is so easy for me to compare myself to others: their skills and abilities, success, popularity, etc. This frequently leads to a selfish desire to have what they have because I’m dissatisfied with myself and God’s blessings in my life. When my life circumstances are stressful and difficult, it’s so easy for me to think how unfair it is–how unfair God is because I deserve something better. I complain, usually to myself, sometimes to others and on rare occasions directly to God. If I say I believe God is the rightful author […]
May 31, 2013

Courage and Maturity

Part two of a series on courage. When Israel’s beloved King David was close to death, he charged his son ­Solomon saying, “I am about to go the way of all the earth, so be strong, act like a man, and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to Him, and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go” (1 Kings 2:2-3). King David knew that strength and courage were linked with maturity, responsibility, […]
May 22, 2013

Courage – What is it?

Part one of a series on courage. Legendary coach John Wooden once said, “Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” I like that–many of the ingredients that create success or failure are not within my control. I can’t manage the economy, the weather or even another person’s behaviors. Being courageous, however, is completely up to me. I can be courageous regardless of what is happening around me. In being courageous, I can be successful. The iconic picture of courage is of fire fighters, law enforcement officers, and soldiers risking their lives for someone else. Staff […]
December 4, 2012
Christmas

A New Christmas Song

Like many families, the day after Thanksgiving we begin listening to Christmas music—fun favorites like Mannheim Steamroller’s renditions of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Avalon’s versions of Joy to the World and Winter Wonderland; and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas arrangements. We enjoy the traditional songs like Away in a Manger, Silent Night, O Holy Night and What Child is This? Handel’s Messiah is incredible—especially the Hallelujah Chorus*.   This week I discovered a new Christmas song. Well, I should say, the lyrics of a song: “. . . Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality […]
November 9, 2012
Conquering Mountains

Conquering Mountains

I passed the half-century mark a few years ago. My friends and I shared laughs about getting old – mostly at my expense. I reminded them, “I can’t be over the hill, I’ve never been on top!” In fact, I am now certain I’m not over “the hill,” for there are whole mountain ranges yet to explore. Sir Edmund Hillary once said, “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” He knew that it is not the circumstances that dictate our lives but our response to them. When faced with daunting mountains; whether they are Mt. Everest or equally […]
September 18, 2012

Your Focus Determines Your Direction

When I rediscovered cycling a number of years ago, I bounced over every rock and slipped into each crack on the road. Such ineptness is rather troublesome when you ride on skinny tires at high rates of speed. The impression I made on my riding buddies was immediate – they left a rather large “no ride zone” around me. The problem was that once I saw the impending hazard I focused on it. I thought about the obstacle and even thought about avoiding it but I kept looking at the rock – inevitably colliding with it. Fortunately my driving instructor’s […]
March 22, 2011

Dare to Hope

Calvin and June* were madly in love. It mattered little that neither graduated from high school or could hold a job for more than a few months. They were together, living in a room in her parent’s home. Fast forward ten years, they are now living in a two-bedroom apartment with two kids. Calvin’s work is sporadic. June’s job cleaning the laundry mat is  consistent but doesn’t cover the bills. They barely speak to each other unless they’ve been drinking—then it’s a steady flow of acidic contempt. Searching for help, June called a local church and spoke with the pastor […]