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.

Masks

COVID-19 dragged something foreign into the lives of most people. Masks. Masks were the territory of robbers, clowns, and Halloween Trick-or-Treaters. Now, to stay safe, we wear a mask. It prevents us if we have the virus but no symptoms to protect others. Yet, it protects us, as well. Most people flinch at wearing the mask. We don’t like it. We want to show our faces and see facial expressions. Masks hide something. Not all masks cover the nose and mouth. Some cover intention and motive. The ancient Greek theater had a slim cast of characters, sometimes only one. The way you changed the role was to put on a different mask. Once donned, that mask conveyed a distinct personality apart from the actor’s own. Hence, the New Testament borrows the term “hypocrite” for the actor under the mask. What he shows is not who he is. Paul warned people of the theatrics of spiritual motives. “You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness.” (1 Thessalonians 2:5) Paul was telling people, “my face is open, and my motives are clear.” He did not cover up motives but was genuine. Sadly, modern Christianity has its share of performers who play the role to gain the trust, the money, and the loyalty of the gullible. So, we live in two worlds. Wear a mask to protect yourself but take off your spiritual mask to show the genuineness of Christian devotion. Both masked and unmasked provide some measure of safety. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2020-05-04T11:08:51-05:00May 4th, 2020|Sermons|

Plastic

Celie Wilkes found herself disappointed. She bought a succulent plant and started caring for it. It was when she was ready to transplant it, that she realized a sobering fact. The plant was plastic. “I was so proud of this plant. It was full, beautiful coloring, just an overall perfect plant … I had a watering plan for it. If someone else tried to water my succulent, I would get so defensive because I just wanted to keep good care of it. I absolutely loved my succulent.” In the transplant process, as she dug down to the bottom, she found the styrofoam with glued sand at the bottom. It looked alive, but it was nothing more than an imitation. So many people adopt an imitation faith, one that feels good and is popular with the masses. Jesus instructed that we must get “down to the bottom” to find out. “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24–25) Genuine faith that grows and flourishes is stable at its base. It puts God over self and obedience over mere observance. That kind of faith has substance and life. Since her discovery, Wilkes replaced her plastic plants with genuine succulents. Is it time to find out if you have nothing more than a plastic faith? -Robert G. Taylor--

By |2020-05-01T05:59:11-05:00April 22nd, 2020|Blog|

Questions

Before Google and the Internet, something called “the librarian” could answer your questions. In 1967, the New York Public Library established a phone-in service called “Ask A Librarian.” (It is still in existence and receives over 30,000 calls each year.) Several years ago, they discovered a box of cards with questions librarians received. Here is a sample: What does it mean when you dream, you’re being chased by an elephant? Why do 18th Century English paintings have so many squirrels in them? If a poisonous snake bites itself, will it die? The librarians fielded all questions. None of them were “stupid questions” but were treated as sincere attempts of people to learn things. Questions are vital to learning. W. Edwards Deming said, “If you do not ask how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.” Jesus knew that the inquisitive soul was on the right track. No one received answers to questions not asked. He told his audience: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) Those with questions in their hearts find the answers of eternity. . When we ask God, he will tell us. And with God, as with the librarians, there are no stupid questions, only correct answers. -Robert G. Taylor-  

By |2020-04-18T17:19:20-05:00April 18th, 2020|Blog|

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|