Heart To Heart With Pastor Ed Bowen – #5

Pastor Ed Bowen was saved on March 24, 1957 at a revival meeting at Horse Branch Church in Turbeville, S.C. at the age of 23. Brother Bowen has been married to his wife, Margaret, for over 54 years. After being ordained in 1960, Pastor Bowen went on to preach in various places until he became pastor of Cherryvale Baptist. Having been there for over 43 years, in 2000, he had to slow down a bit due to prostate cancer.

Though unable to do what he used to do, Pastor Ed has just changed venues. For over ten years now, he has been encouraging people via email. He has graciously agreed to be a contributing author to this website. This series of posts entitled, “Heart To Heart” are the fruit of his times with our Lord Jesus! If they mean as much to you as they do me, then EMAIL him and let him know about it!

Casting A Large Shadow

(Romans 14:7-8Romans 14:7-8
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.  

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) “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”  (KJV)

In this passage, the Apostle Paul directs us to the highest form of Christianity. That is, to live by others’ consciences, and considering one’s influence, whether it influences people to God or from God. Influence is like casting a shadow, it touches others, sometimes a great number, depending upon how many people we have an opportunity to be with or around. Influence is not something we can have when we want to have it and not have it when we don’t. We cannot lay aside our influence as we will. It is something which beams out of our lives as light from a lamp. It can be something very wonderful or very grievous. It can bring great delight or much grief. We always have more influence than we think we do.

I was thinking of a story my grandmother told us when I was a child. It was about an earthquake which struck this area about 1886. At that time, her family had stopped going to church. The Bible was in the home but high upon the shelf where it was never removed. She remembers as a child when the earthquake shook their house and her father came in the door of the house. Obviously frightened, he removed the Bible from the shelf, gathered the family around him and read the Bible and had prayer. The following Sunday he took his family to church. I can point back to that occasion and be grateful for an earthquake that influenced my grandmother to be the Bible woman she was. Her father’s shadow of influence has now reached from his own generation, to my grandmother’s, to my mother’s, to my own, then to my children’s, and to my grandchildren’s, and now, to our 9 great grandchildren. That is seven generations which has covered over 123 years. That is one man’s shadow of influence. My grandmother had 2 sisters and 2 brothers, so many more people were influenced by that single commitment, on a certain day in 1886. “He being dead yet speaketh,” as Abel of old.

I hasten to add that influence does not save. We still have freedom to choose for ourselves. Influence of godly parents and people give us the opportunity to make the right choices. A child can be reared in a Christian home and be lost forever. He must be born again. A godly influence enhances ones opportunity to make a decision for Christ.

There is another side of influence, that of evil influence. I’m sure you, as I, can think of all the trouble you’ve gotten into because someone influenced you to do wrong. It was your choice but you had help making it.  That is what we can do for each other… we can help others make the right choices though we cannot choose for them.

I related this story to an inmate at Wateree Prison one Saturday afternoon in about 1995. He responded to it by stating that no one in his family had ever attended church on a regular basis. I suggested that he could be the first in his family to lead in establishing a spiritual legacy. Who knows how many may be rightly influenced by such a decision made on a certain day.

Pastor Ed Bowen

Conclusion

I wholeheartedly agree with Brother Bowen. All of us cast a shadow. Some larger than others! As a pastor, the larger the potential of our influence. Oh, how we who pastor must be careful in our life so we can have a positive influence upon others!

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Originally posted 2011-01-30 00:01:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pastors And PATIENCE!

Andrew ProfileIn my 38 years of living on planet Earth, I have learned that patience is a key to living a peaceful life. Frustration, anger, animosity, gossip, evil communication, malice, and outright hatred are just a few of the countless sins which can stem from not being patient. In my 22+ years of knowing Christ as my Savior I have found that patience is the one grace that everyone wants others to exercise with them, but rarely are willing to reciprocate to others. If there is one person who should exemplify patience… it is a PASTOR!

 What Is Patience?

The word “patience” is used in the King James Bible 34 times. There are two words translated patience. One means to be long spirited or long tempered and the other carries the idea of a cheerful endurance… literally “an abiding under”. Both words express the idea of being slow to wrath and that time is not a relevant issue. One who is hasty is not patient! Instant gratification is not compatible with patience.

The Beauty Of Patience…

Patience is a grace which matures Christian character and is a beauty to behold! As a lighted candle adorns an orate table for two in the corner of one’s favorite restaurant, so patience, when practiced, allows the love of God to shine that much brighter into someone’s life! Patience elevates one’s level of influence upon not only the one being interacted with, but also with onlookers and those who may hear about it.

Pastors MUST Exercise Patience…

(1 Timothy 6:111 Timothy 6:11
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  

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) “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” (KJV)
Emphasis Added

(2 Timothy 3:102 Timothy 3:10
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, fully...: or, been a diligent follower of  

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) “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,” (KJV) Emphasis Added

The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that a pastor, God’s man, must exercise patience. While it may not be one of the graces which, as they say, “comes natural”, but it must be something which is constantly worked on. Paul warned young Timothy about the need to follow after patience (1 Timothy 6:111 Timothy 6:11
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  

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), he also reminded Timothy about his own testimony concerning this grace (2 Timothy 3:102 Timothy 3:10
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, fully...: or, been a diligent follower of  

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).

The Aroma Of Patience…

The rose emanates a most majestic fragrance when its pedals are crushed. A Christian’s life is often challenged and tried by fire. The spirit can be defeated at times by the burdens borne. It is when we are at our lowest that we can be the sweetest by exercising patience under trial!

(James 1:2-4James 1:2-4
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; temptation: or, trials 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.  

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) “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (KJV) Emphasis Added

Conclusion…

A pastor’s ministry if often under fire from the critics and gainsayers. His own life is muddled with problems outside of his duties as shepherd. The degree of a pastor’s patience is often the determining factor in longevity of ministry! No pastor can escape this reality. How would you rate yourself concerning this grace?

Originally posted 2014-04-18 20:09:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pastor – A Voice Or An Echo

I was reading a tremendous book the other day, written by the late Keith E. Knauss (1928-1998), entitled, Heartbeats Of The Holy. This book was given to me several weeks ago, while at a meeting in Union, South Carolina, by Evangelist Joe Bryant. As I was devouring it’s contents, I stumbled across a thought that I wanted to pass along. Brother Knauss wrote about being a voice or an echo. Needless to say, I wanted to run and fall under a rock to hide myself!!!


The Charge…

The portion under consideration is found in chapter ten of the book. While speaking about John the Baptist’s effectiveness as God’s man, Brother Knauss states the following…

“ANY HILL CAN MAKE AN ECHO. ‘I am the voice of ONE,’ said John. Can you say that, preacher? Or must you, in all fidelity to truth say, ‘I am an echo.’ If a man is but an echo he is common-place, for echos multiply. But if he be a voice – men will stop, listen, and marvel.”

WOW! Brother Knauss states it very well, doesn’t he?

The Chiming…

“The woods are full of ‘em” says the men of yesteryear. Yes, there are numerous echos across our land today. They simply regurgitate what they have heard someone else say. That is all well and good for those who heard it first hand. They digested the Word from Heaven! Praise the Lord! However, they should rightly divide a fresh portion for their sheep, and not vomit up what they have previously eaten! The content may be the same, but it is fresh from Heaven. Every day but the Sabbath, the manna fell. Leftovers stank and were no good. Such can be said for echos!

The Challenge…

Pastor, let us decide, right now, that we will be HIS VOICE and not an empty echo! Far too many times we mount the pulpit and, if the truth be told, we are full of self. We are empty vessels chiming against one another. If we truly had the water of life to pass out, then there would be a different ring. The tone would be so heavy that our hearers would know God’s Spirit is near. As John of old, let us be a VOICEto our family, our congregation, and our community.

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Originally posted 2010-10-04 23:01:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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