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.

The Question

Dr. Francis Collins was a bold atheist. He said, “I would have challenged anybody who wanted to have some discussion about God. I would have asserted they were basically stuck in some past era of supernaturalism that is no longer necessary because science has eliminated the need for it.” Then something changed. He watched people caught in the grip of serious illness. He noticed they had peace and joy, even though it would terrify him. “I had never really gone beyond the most superficial consideration of whether God exists or a serious consideration about what happens after you die,” commented Collins. Then, a patient suffering from an incurable illness drove the point home. She told him, “I have talked to you about my faith, and you listened but never said anything. What do you believe?” Collins said it was like getting hit by lightning. It was the most crucial question anyone had ever asked him. He struggled, and then a man introduced him to C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. In the end, he found an answer. “I realized … that most of my objections against faith were utterly simplistic. Here was an Oxford intellectual giant who had traveled the same path from atheism to faith, and had a way of describing why that made sense that was utterly disarming. It was also very upsetting. It was not the answer I was looking for.” Every person must ask the question, which today is even more relevant.  What do I believe and what happens if I die? It’s not an idle question. It is in the eternal questions of life and death that the correct question forms. What am I living my life for? After asking the questions of himself, Collins came to faith at the age of 27. What do you believe? -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-04-02T14:52:33-05:00April 2nd, 2020|Blog|

The Gamblers

Usually, “gambling” and “Christian” don’t fit together. But don’t tell Paul. He knew what gambling meant. In Philippians 2:30, he describes his friend Epaphroditus as a “gambler.” “for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.” (Philippians 2:30) The word risk means “to throw dice.” Where Paul learned it, who knows, but it is a good word for Christians, especially right now. A plague decimated thousands of the North African city of Carthage in 252 A.D. Dead bodies were discarded in the streets, and survivors fled in terror. That's when The Gamblers came together. These men and women, all Christians, took it upon themselves to bury the dead and nurse the sick. It took reckless courage. No one suggests you do reckless acts in today’s struggle with COVID-19. But with the talk of staying in and protect yourself, it is easy to become emotionally distanced as well. People need a human and Christian heart to touch them. While it doesn’t have to be in person, a phone call or note that reaches to the hurting can mean a lot. That’s what Epaphroditus did. He poured out his life for Paul. His example as a spiritual gambler needs to affect us closeted behind safe doors -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-03-27T11:34:31-05:00March 27th, 2020|Blog|

53

In the annals of modern sports, two names stand out:  Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. They share more than championship trophies. They know who matters and who doesn’t. In a documentary titled Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching, they talk to each other about what is essential and how the world has changed. Neither gives much credence to social media. Both understand that many times our modern world with its multitude of “friends” intrudes on communication. Both also believe that people need to look people in the eye to know them, not click a button. As Belichick put it, “Who cares how many likes you get from 2000 people you don’t even know? There are 53 guys in the locker room. Those are the 53 that matter.” The number is not as significant as the idea. In life, there are people that matter and those on the periphery. When you get down to it, the ones you count on are the ones that count. Solomon, surrounded by wannabe friends, knew the difference. A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24) God wants us to develop that kind of relationship in the body of Christ. We need more than Facebook followers. We need someone in the “53.” Who are yours? -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-03-27T11:33:24-05:00March 27th, 2020|Blog|

Apologies

Leilani Schweitzer is a professional apologizer. Her formal title is head of communication and resolution at Stanford Hospital in California. She’s good at it because of what happened to her. Years ago, her 20-month old son Gabriel died of a hospital error and bad equipment at the hospital. That’s usually when the lawyers take over, make excuses, blame someone, and dare you to sue. Instead, as Schweitzer explained, they did none of those things. Instead, they explained, took responsibility, and apologized. It made the difference. There is something in humans to bristle at admitting they were wrong. It’s easier to point fingers or deny its damage. That’s not the best strategy. It’s better to be human, admit you made a mistake, and move on. An honest apology is better than a full suite of Ivy League barristers. Jesus counseled emptying ego and seeing reconciliation. “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23–24)  None of us are beyond messing up. The most mature person in the room is the one who can own their faults, failures, and feebleness. Then, say those bitter words so hard to speak sincerely: I apologize. It makes a difference for others but, even more importantly, for you. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-03-27T11:31:53-05:00March 27th, 2020|Blog|

The Email

You got the email. A Nigerian prince has a fortune he would like to share with you. Send him an email with some necessary information, such as your account information. You will be rich. It turns out the “Nigerian prince” was Billy Morrison, a fourteen-year-old boy. In 1949, Billy placed ads in newspapers. He claimed he was a prince with nothing but gemstones in an empty house. He wanted friends. In exchange, he would send diamonds and rubies. People wrote. Each letter bore more requests. No one received anything but the next request. Soon envelopes filled with money flowed through post offices. But no one saw a single diamond. That’s when the postal service got involved. By the way, Billy was an American who knew American weaknesses. We say that no one answers these, but dozens get duped out of life savings in this and other scams that have followed. The electronic age made it simpler. Paul counsels Christians to: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11) The devil is not slipshod but methodical. He knows weaknesses and vulnerabilities. He tailors every enticement for you. We have grown wary of the Nigerian email. Why, with the same kind of scam, do we not grow weary of the devil? Remember, the devil is not a teenager. Take him more seriously. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-03-27T11:30:29-05:00March 27th, 2020|Blog|

Sleep

Everyone knows that terrible feeling of tossing and turning when sleep flees. Some medicate while others meditate. It’s bad enough that so-called experts write hundreds of thousands of words about sleep each year. So, how do you find sleep when you are wide awake? In an article in the Journal of Psychology and Health, researchers suggest a practice that predates their own discipline. Forgive. They asked how forgiving people were about themselves and others. Those who forgave could leave the day’s defeats and mistakes at the bedside. Without forgiving, regret, and anger, snatches rest from the mind and soul. Jesus told people burdened with resentments: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14–15) The best rest you ever get is when you lay aside the anger, annoyance, and hurt. God’s prescription beats Ambien because it doesn’t numb the mind but eases the soul. Next time you feel like counting sheep, ask, “what do I need to forgive?” Then, let it go and go back to bed. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-03-27T11:28:58-05:00March 27th, 2020|Blog|

Worry

Furrowed brows and twisted sheets tell the story for most people. Worry is the thief of life. Worry is about the future.  Lucas LaFreniere observed, “This is what breaks my heart about worry. It makes you miserable in the present moment to try and prevent misery in the future. For chronic worriers, this process leads them to be continually distressed all their lives in order to avoid later events that never happen. Worry sucks the joy out of the ‘here and now.’” “This might happen,” is the little voice whispering fears in your soul. When studied worry and the fears of people, he found something startling. More than 90% of what people worry about never happens. The concern was for nothing. Moderns did not invent worry but inherited it. Jesus knew the worried looks. And it looks quite up-to-date. ““Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25) His counsel remains the only real prescription for the anxiety of our age. Serve God today and let God work out tomorrows. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33–34) The sad truth is we waste the life God gave us worrying about what will never be. Take hold of God’s hand and let him guide you today. He knows the future, so trust him. Let God do your worrying for you. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-03-27T11:27:29-05:00March 27th, 2020|Blog|

Honesty

In a world of sliding values, honesty doesn’t seem necessary. Or is it? The World Bank estimates that governments and businesses pay at least one trillion dollars in bribes annually. Most see this as “the cost of doing business.” Two researchers, Dan Ariely and Ximena Garcia-Rada looked at the effects. They wrote in Scientific American: Unless preventive measures are taken, dishonesty can spread stealthily and uninvited from person to person like a disease, eroding social norms and ethics—and once a culture of cheating and lying becomes entrenched, it can be difficult to dislodge. We talk about the flu and things like the coronavirus, but dishonesty proves disastrous. When you destroy trust through dishonesty, all relationships become subject. In a crossed-finger world, we must heed the instruction of Jesus: “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37) If your word is not good enough, your character is suspect as well. Clean up your life. Make honesty a hallmark of speech and business dealings. It might stop an epidemic. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-03-27T11:26:13-05:00March 27th, 2020|Blog|

Security

Philip Poniz discovered that “safe” doesn’t mean safe. He had a collection of rare watches. He did not like keeping them at his house, so he rented a safety deposit box at his bank. The bank held a key, and he had a key. It took both keys to open the box. Thirty-four years later, Poniz went to the bank to check his collection. He inserted his key, as did the bank manager. He lifted the lid. It was empty. “My impression about safe deposit boxes was that it was like you were putting things in Fort Knox,” he said. “Nothing could happen to it.” We want to find something that stays secure. Mankind longs for that sense of security. Jesus noted security is not what we it seems. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19–21) Nothing held on earth secure. Homes get blown away. Economic downturns steal fortunes. Accidents rob you of health. Only obedience to God and the good done in his name have real value. Don’t think things make you secure. Turn a life toward God’s will and find the security you crave. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-03-27T11:24:27-05:00March 27th, 2020|Blog|

Big Houses

If you haven’t noticed, houses are getting bigger. Less than 50 years ago, a regular house had 1500 square feet. Today it is 2500 square feet or more. That is with fewer people living in the house. While you may not know of anyone named “Jones,” keeping up with them drives the size. As one business school teacher noted: To be clear, having more space does generally lead to people saying they’re more pleased with their home. The problem is that the satisfaction often doesn’t last if even bigger homes pop up nearby. If I bought a house to feel like I’m “the king of my neighborhood,” but a new king arises, it makes me feel very bad about my house. It is an unfulfilling cycle of one-upmanship. It comes down to want, not need. Such problems are not new but as old as mankind. Agur the wise man observed, “The leech has two daughters. ‘Give! Give!’ they cry. “There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’:” (Proverbs 30:15) To the man who wants more and bigger, it is never enough. To the man who has God’s blessing, it is more than enough. Are you blessed or obsessed? It may be time to look at the size of your house. -Robert G. Taylor-  

By |2020-03-27T11:23:05-05:00March 27th, 2020|Blog|