Stephanie Fowler, Religion in newspapers
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Stephanie Fowler is the daughter of Bryan (Scott) Fowler. He is the Ranch Foreman at Logos Ranch in Centerville, Texas. I am the ranch book- keeper. Scott's father was Gene Fowler, a Job Foreman at Walter A. Smith Paving Contractors Inc. I worked as bookkeeper at the Paving company for 40 years. Gene was employed there before I was. He died Nov. 1, 2003. Scott joined the company when he was out of high school. The Paving company was dissolved in 1997. For many years, Gene and his wife, Nancy, lived next door to my cousins Gene and Wanda Gilbert (both died May 31, 2008; story in "Happenings" for June, 2008). They were very good friends; as close in relationship as brothers and sisters. The Fowlers are like part of our family. I write this for benefit of about 175 employees and businesses connected with the paving company who receive my "Happenings".
I couldn't hold back the tears as I read about Stephanie's death, at age 23; tragically; suddenly. The brevity of life consumed me. Death takes away so many dreams; so many plans that are important to us while we are here. We all expect to accomplish a lot of things, and be here for a long, long time. I believe God has a purpose, a reason, for His creation of each one of us. The most wonderful life we can have is in finding His will for us and living according to His plans. We know we have eternal life from I John 5:11-15 TLB:
"And what is it that God has said? That He has given us eternal life, and that this life is in His Son. So whoever has God's Son has life; whoever does not have His Son, does not have life. I have written this to you who believe in the Son of God so that you may know you have eternal life. And we are sure of this, that He will listen to us whenever we ask Him for anything in line with His will. And if we really know He is listening when we talk to Him and make our requests, then we can be sure that He will answer us."
I was very much impressed that the Centerville News prints God's plan for eternal life on the front page of every edition, copy on far left column. We must believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. He loved us so much that He took the place of the sacri-ficial lamb in the Old Testament to pay for our sins.
You can tell the Centerville News is run by a Christian organization. A Bible Scripture is somewhere on every page. To the right are the ones for this edition, which includes three prayer lists of names. I lifted them up to God in prayer--He knows their needs. The Reporter ended the tragedy with "Please keep these families in your prayers." Page 2 pictured citizens gathering to pray on the National Day of Prayer (May 7). The Leon County Commissioners Court meeting detailed their business and decisions, ending with "Clay Thornton, from Center-ville Church of Christ, led the prayer. I enjoyed reading this 14-page newspaper.
We cannot stifle the thought, "If I were to die today, would I go to Heaven?" The Bible is real. God is real. Jesus is real. No fact in history is so well authenticated as the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every one who set out to disprove Jesus, ended up converted to Christianity. Strauss, the great German
rationalist, says: "There is more historic evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than of the life and death of Julius Caesar."
I also say to myself: "I would greatly fear not to live a Christian life, because the Bible clearly states, many times, 'the soul who sins is the one who will die' (Ezekiel 18:4). "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord" (Rev. 14:13) and "Because I live, you also will live" (John 14:19). The Bible has a solemn warning to those who have heard the Gospel and have not believed. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Now is the time to make the decision to trust Jesus as Lord and Savior. Tomorrow may be too late. "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him" (Romans 4:7,8). Blessed are those having assurance of eternal life.
God gave us His plan to welcome us into His family. It is so simple, anyone can comply. We are to come to Him just as we are: a repentant sinner. We do not have to do "service", complete "steps" or "initiations". Jesus was with God before the earth was created. He came here to show us how to live. His death paid for our sins. His resurrection gave us the power to rise above our sins, when we ask His forgiveness, admitting we sinned, dedicating our lives in service to Him.
Immediately, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our hearts and help us live the good life. You will become a new person. Now is the time to make the decision to trust Jesus. Tomorrow may be too late. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corin. 6:2). Jesus welcomes you! God loves you!
> Stephanie Fowler, Religion in newspapers