Robert Taylor

Archives for Robert Taylor

About Robert Taylor

As Executive Minister Robert Taylor has several roles including managing the facilities, serving as the church administrator and coordinating the Bible class program. His abilities in technology put in him the role of developing electronic presentations and taking care of technology needs for the Waterview Church.

Smarts

The problem was fundamental. Researchers assigned four students to build a structure using 20 pieces of spaghetti, 1 yard of tape, 1 yard of string, and a marshmallow. The only rule was the marshmallow had to end up on top. Two groups received this assignment--kindergarteners and business students from elite universities. The study’s leader made some assumptions. The more skilled and intelligent persons would do better. Dozens of trials later, the results were surprising. The kindergarteners built structures of 26 inches tall. The business studies 10-in structures were dwarfs by comparison. What did they discover? Life is not about the intelligence of the individuals but working together. Kindergarteners came together to do the work. That made the difference, not the IQ or educational level. We sometimes rely on “experts” to solve our problems. In the church, we read the “church growth gurus.” We pour over blog posts and books crammed with the right answers…that do not work. Instead, we need to return to the image God imprinted on his church. “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:11–12) The answer is not more PhDs giving ivory-tower solutions. It is for everyday Christians, fueled by faith, moving in unison. So, let’s be kindergarten kids who work together than smart people who don’t. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-10-19T11:38:51-05:00October 19th, 2020|Blog|

The Voice

If you watch great movies, you heard “the voice.” In 1982, Steven Spielberg made a film that captured the imagination of audiences. He told the story of a being from the universe who crashed on earth. With the help of some kids, this strange creature got home. The movie was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. But what about the voice, the one of E.T. himself? Spielberg could not find the right voice until he went to a store. It was there he heard it. A woman talked to the shop assistant, and Spielberg knew it was what he had searched for. He walked up to the woman named Welsh, handed her his card, and invited her for an audition. Mrs. Welsh used to be a speech trainer. But decades of cigarette smoking left her with a cracked and croaky voice. So it was that an unknown American housewife, Pat Welsh became a footnote in an award-winning movie. God can’t use us, we say. We have flaws. Others, with more talent, are better. So we slink into the shadows. But God is looking for a voice for his message. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) God wants his message, not the speaker, to stand out. So he looks for a voice that has flaws and faults. That way, God’s grace, and glory get seen through the cracks. Never disdain who you are. It is God who is looking for the right voice so use yours for God’s purposes. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-10-13T11:52:50-05:00October 13th, 2020|Blog|

The Knot

Humanity loves to feel in control of the world. We plumb ocean depths and soar to the heavens. But this over-confidence causes us grief. In the 4th century B.C., the ancient Phrygians were without a king. The oracle decreed that the next man who arrived in the town on an oxcart would be king. A peasant farmer named Gordias entered and was named king of the city. In his honor, Gordias' son tied an oxcart to a post with an intricate knot. As one historian described it, "it was several knots all so tightly entangled that it was impossible to see how any of them were tied.' Then Alexander the Great arrived. He had conquered the region. The same oracle that years before had proclaimed the king's identity said that the man who would untie the knot would become the ruler of all Asia. Alexander had his eye on the prize and knew nothing could stop him. But the twisted knot defied his abilities. Finally, in anger, he drew his sword and cut the knot. We all face our "Gordian knot," those things in life that confuse and confute, something impossible to untie. Yet, we can manage our own lives and make our own decisions. And we find ourselves in worse condition from our lack of knowledge. Isaiah observed, amid terrible suffering, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8–9) God knows the things that perplex us most. He can untie the knots the drive humans to distraction. When life overwhelms, remember we are tied with Gordian's knot. The only one who can untie it is someone with greater wisdom than ourselves. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-10-05T13:47:37-05:00October 5th, 2020|Blog|

Flight to Nowhere

Would you get on a plane that took off bound for nowhere? A flight like that sold out in 10 minutes. Qantas Airlines offered the ticket for a cost of between almost $600 to $3000 per seat. The 7-hour flight would cruise at 30,000 feet, allowing a long-range sightseeing tour of the area before returning to Sydney. While it seems outlandish to board a plane without a specific destination, it is worse to have a life headed nowhere. On Athens’ Aeropagus, Paul faced the Stoics and Epicureans. The philosophers had developed strategies for life’s difficulties. But life had but one destination. The grave. So, it was shocking and perplexing when Paul finished his dissertation with: “For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”” (Acts 17:31) Paul's statement caused an uproar. It told them life headed to a particular destination,…an eternity. Modern man is like the philosophers or the travelers on the airliner. They are sightseers to life, but it will be over. The gospel tells of the destination and the way to get there. Don’t buy a ticket to nowhere. Go where God wants you to go. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-09-28T09:53:10-05:00September 28th, 2020|Blog|

Answered Prayer

We talk a lot about answered prayers. But sometimes we don’t consider that God answers prayers before they form. A missionary in the Congo had a desperate situation. In her hands was a premature newborn. But her mother died in childbirth. The baby was suffering. They tried to rig an incubator only to find a broken hot water bottle. The children at the orphanage prayed for the baby and her newly-orphaned sister. One of the girls responded, “Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late. And dear Lord, send a doll for her sister so she won’t feel so lonely.” The next day a box arrived from an unidentified source. The children watched as the box opened its lid. In it were clothes, and under the clothes, a new hot water bottle. That sent the girl who had offered the prayer into a frantic search into the bottom of the box.  At the bottom was a doll. Jesus reminds us of something we forget. “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) Our prayers come to a God who already knows the need before words can be crafted. The faith to pray must include the faith to believe God can give even when our prayers are lacking. Believe in a loving God. He gives more than we can ask or even know to ask. A baby is alive because of God’s grace, while prayers started to form. Answered prayer comes in mysterious ways. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-09-21T11:35:50-05:00September 21st, 2020|Blog|

Fear

Maria Stenvinkel asked a question many sidestep in life. What is your greatest fear? Answers came from around the globe. Many answered with predictable answers, which are top-of-mind right now. Fear of dying alone. Losing a job. Yet, 20% of the respondents went deeper. Their fear was “living without a purpose.” “My greatest fear is to go through life living small but not realizing it until it’s too late.” “My greatest fear would be missing out on my purpose here on earth. … I know I have a purpose that I am not yet serving.” “To go through life without leaving a positive mark.” “My greatest fear is regretting all that I didn’t do, as I lay in my hospital bed as an elderly man.” Such fear is born of a spiritual void in life. They know more is out there, but they don’t know how to find it. Jesus reminded people that their emptiness had a remedy. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) The tragedy is people who spend their lives and still feel they have nothing. It is a bad bargain. The gospel is not about going through the motions, but finding why God made you, your purpose in life, and where your life is headed. All are questions to which our age is dying to have the answer. Our goal is not to be happy, but to let God fill the hole and make life worth living. That’s the message we should live, and we should spread. -Robert G. Taylor-    

By |2020-09-14T10:37:02-05:00September 14th, 2020|Blog|

Sinkholes

The Russian city of Berezniki has a problem. It’s 150,000 citizens are watching their city sink. The city sits on top of a potash mine held up by walls and pillars of salt. It worked for years. Then, in 2006, a spring burst forth and flowed through the underground mine. The water dissolved the salt, and parts of the city fell into the earth. Locals named the most massive sinkhole “Grandfather.” It is 1300 feet across and 650 deep. Some have left the town. Others wonder what will happen. Something happens when cities and lives build on dangerous things. People make lives on philosophies, wealth, importance, and fads. None ask, “how is this supporting my life in eternity?” Yet, these are shifting ground. People disappoint. Money disappears. Philosophies dissolve. Jesus reminds us of a problem that many have. He tells a story of two men whose end proved their building. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”(Matthew 7:24–27) Appearances can fool. What looks like a stable life can crumble when the foundation is shallow. But built on a foundation of eternity and truth, people can stand any force. The ground remains under them when times change. Ask yourself, “what’s holding up my life?” If it is not rock-solid faith, prepare for life’s sinkholes. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-09-08T09:34:01-05:00September 8th, 2020|Blog|

The Finisher

In every race comes a moment of “will I finish.” It must have crossed the mind of a Sri Lankan runner in the 1964 Tokyo games. The country sent a team to the games, including Ranatunge Karunananda, who ran the 10,000-meter race. The race’s victor was Billy Mills of the United States. When he crossed the finish line, Karunananda had no chance at a metal. He was four laps behind. The crowd expected Karunananda to quit, but he kept running. After some time, he entered the arena, but the spectators were now cheering. They realized he was not growing the quit. Instead, they were encouraging him to finish his race. When the race was over, interviewers asked, “why didn’t you quit?” He said: “The Olympic spirit is not to win but to take part. So, I completed my rounds.” Christian living takes its toll at times. The racecourse of life provides obstacles and challenges. It’s tempting to think, “what’s the use?” Yet, Paul hit significant roadblocks in his life. He lay on a gravel road, stone pelting him. He faced a conspiracy to kill him and then got caught in the bureaucracy of the Roman judgment system. He sat in prison when so much of his mission went unfinished. Instead, he took Karunananda’s viewpoint. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13-14) Run the race to finish it. Disappointments and stone walls arise. But run on. In the end, Karunananda’s impressed the Japanese that it had a place in the children’s textbooks. Let your perseverance in Christ stand as such an example. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-08-31T11:53:55-05:00August 31st, 2020|Blog|

Uncertainty

Elizabeth Silver knows uncertainty. Her six-month-old baby had a stroke, and the weeks and months that followed were nerve-racking. It took a year for the baby to recover, but every day seemed to whisper uncertainty. In recent months, she has spoken to people about pandemic times. Their conversations revealed most people were unconcerned about illness, finances, or death. They were afraid…of uncertainty. She wrote: How we approach uncertainty in our health is a litmus test for how we approach life. Uncertainty is living outside of life and within it. It is the baseline of experience, of joy, of energy, of possibility, of fear. And uncertainty—especially in a pandemic—reflects how we as a society and we as individuals are. When she talked to physicians, their concern was a “challenge” and “reality.” They knew something about the virus, but not everything. They said, “The difficulty now lies in convincing the rest of us that uncertainty is something we can and must live with.” We live in a world where we crave certainty but live with uncertainty. Even Christians have no lock on knowing. The difference is in response. When you don’t know, do you worry? Jesus reminds us of the futility of anxiety over uncertainty. “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:27) And his answer? It is not to try to know the unknowable. Live with what you know today. “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Live today and let the Lord take care of the tomorrows. You sleep better at night and live better in the day. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-08-24T14:41:55-05:00August 24th, 2020|Blog|

Mercy

Daylan McLee sat in his apartment when he heard the “boom” and felt his building shake. Then, a relative ran into the room in the apartment in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. A terrible crash had happened on the street below involving a police cruiser. McLee dashed outside and pulled a policeman from the mangled car engulfed in flames. What made this an unusual story was McLee’s past. He had sued the Pennsylvania state police for false arrest. He spent a year in jail before his case was dismissed for lack of evidence. It was a year he wished he had not lost. The year claimed time with children and stopped him from helping his mother, who was ill. For him, it was not a hard decision to pull the policeman from the car. “No matter what other people have done to me, this guy deserves to make it home safely to his family.” McLee, who is African-American, knew what he needed and what the world needs. We need to work on our humanity ... that’s the main problem of this world. We’re stuck on how to get up or to get even, and that is not how I was raised to be. You learn, you live, you move on, and I was always taught to forgive big. You can’t base every day of your life on one interaction you have with one individual. I don’t want to be called a hero. I just want to be known as an individual who is an upstanding man. And I hope (that trooper) sees this and knows he’s forgiven. In a world upside down with problems, the remedy is the hardest to do. Let things go. That is forgiveness. It is the bridge over which we also must pass. Jesus encased forgiveness in the model prayer: “...forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)  If we cannot forgive others, God cannot forgive us. Learn to forgive. It makes life for you and others so much better. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-08-17T10:16:26-05:00August 17th, 2020|Blog|
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