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So far Waterview church of Christ has created 122 blog entries.

The Fingerprints

Something is strange about Apu Sarker. This son of a farmer in Bangladesh has none of the swirls and ridges we call fingerprints. His father had no prints, as did his grandfather. It is a genetic mutation found rarely. And Apu lacks fingerprints as well. When the nation issued national ID cards, they required a thumbprint to be included. No one knew what to do. Finally, they issued a card that said, “NO FINGERPRINT.” Our fingerprints are unique. Today, they are used to open phones, computers, and doors. Without fingerprints, identity is lost. Paul wanted the prints of Jesus in his life. He told the Philippians: “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” (Philippians 3:10) Paul knew the world would not believe the message if the Christians lacked his prints in their lives. What does your life look like? Does it bear God’s imprint in all that you do? -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2021-11-29T10:21:10-06:00November 29th, 2021|Blog|

We arrive back in the last week of November. The crisp air whispers to the leaves to begin their freefall. And with it brings Thanksgiving, our annual time to remember to give thanks. Songs encourage us to “count our blessings.” Paintings of pilgrims' hands folded in prayer grace blog posts. The question of the hour is, “what are you thankful for?” Each person has something to be thankful for. Jesus demonstrated that. In Luke 17, Jesus encounters a vagabond group of outsiders. They are lepers banished from society lest they afflict their brethren. They cry, “have mercy on us.”   And Jesus heals them, and they run for the priest to pronounce them clean. We know the story. A single one returns, and Jesus is both puzzled and amazed. “Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.” (Luke 17:15–16) In that verse is the heart of gratitude. A person cannot be thankful for what he has. He can only be grateful for what he has been given. Grace and gratitude intertwined at heart. So as the turkey is carved and potatoes passed, don’t think about what you have. Remember what you have received from the Lord. Happy Thanksgiving. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2021-11-15T11:36:21-06:00November 15th, 2021|Sermons|

Well Done

During the pandemic, essential workers kept America alive. One of those was New Yorker Gustavo Ajeche. Gustavo immigrated from Guatemala in 2004 and started to rebuild his life. By day he works construction. When he leaves that job, he goes to his second job, delivering food to New York’s financial district. His wife was a nanny for a Manhattan family. Gustavo has little but responsibilities. He cares for his family and supports an extended family in Guatemala. His jobs bring him little recognition until the pandemic hit. Then, he and other essential workers proved their worth. He said, “The pandemic was hard, but it taught me I can help. I would come home exhausted, but hearing ‘gracias” or ‘God bless you,’ that was beautiful. I’ll never forget my roots in Guatemala. I struggled for my community. But I feel like a real New Yorker now.” We need a “well done” from time to time. It is the oxygen of the soul. That’s why Jesus reminded those who labored for the kingdom not to give up. A day would come that would make it worth it all. In what we call the parable of the talents, a simple servant hears the words of praise from God himself. “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” (Matthew 25:21) Life can be difficult, and Christianity is challenging at times. But we live for a time when God himself will say, “well done.” Keep going! -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2021-11-08T10:05:45-06:00November 8th, 2021|Blog|

The Breath

Stop and listen and experience. Something astounding is happening to you. You are breathing. Each day we take 20,000 breaths. Each breath brings oxygen and carbon dioxide into balance to keep life going. And it affects not only the lungs but your brain as well. With each deep breath, our heart rate drops and calms us down. The breath is the very essence of our life. When it stops, life begins to cease. This fundamental aspect of life applies to God. Paul wrote Timothy: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16) When we read the text of the Bible, we have the rhythmic exhalation of God’s mind. We can absorb it and live. Remember that we are alive because we breathe, but we have eternal life because God did. Listen to God’s breath. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2021-11-01T14:53:22-05:00November 1st, 2021|Blog|

A Dog Story

Norman Bridwell wrote a dog story. It was not an ordinary story but one about a giant red dog. The name of the book is Clifford, the Big Red Dog. It’s a story for children, but this bedtime storybook affects people as they grow into adulthood. Bridwell gets fan mail and tries to answer each letter. One even pushed him to dedicate one of his books to a child whom he never met. What would motivate such an action? Bridwell explained: “He struck me as being very special. His mother later wrote and told me that the dedication made him feel like a star.” Everyone needs to feel like a star. Lost in a world of nameless faces, we want someone to notice, care, and love. That’s what God does for us. He puts every human being in the spotlight. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) While it is true that Jesus died for the world, it’s much more intimate than that. He died for you, to take away your sins, to make you his child. While a dog story can help a child feel like a star, Christ gives each one even more. God loves you, yes, you! -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2021-10-25T10:17:51-05:00October 25th, 2021|Blog|

The Summit

The world has 14 mountain peaks over 26,000. Many seek to climb them all. Yet, only 44 people have climbed all fourteen. One of them is Ed Viesturs. In 1993, Ed, without the help of supplemental oxygen, achieved the “central summit” of the 14th-highest peak. It was close enough to count. But across a narrow spine of 300 feet was the true summit of the mountain. Yet, it seemed suicidal to try. It took eight more years and a dozen more climbs before Ed inched his way to the true summit. As Australian explorer Damien Gildea said, “People are stopping short because it’s too hard. And I say, that’s not really a good excuse for a climber.” Do you climb as high as you can go? Paul was a climber. He gave up fame and family approval to pursue Christ and preach the gospel. He did it because something was more than “good enough.” He told the Philippians: “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13–14) Has your faith grown into a convenience comfortableness? Perhaps you have decided that “far enough” is enough for God. Yet, if you are a genuine spiritual climber, ask yourself if that's a good excuse. Where are you on the mountain of spiritual growth today? -Robert G. Taylor-  

By |2021-10-18T14:33:24-05:00October 18th, 2021|Blog|

The Strong Weakling

Noriyuki was only 2 years old when a rare disease gripped his body. He developed spinal tuberculosis. He spent the next 9 years in the hospital. At age 11, doctors had given up and told him he would never walk again. One doctor took a chance and fused four vertebrae in his spine. He did not know if it would work or not. But Nuriyuki did learn to walk. He became an engineer but dreamed of becoming a comedian. After walking away from his job, he joined the Groundlings, an improv comedy group in Los Angeles. Out of his disability, he found a unique ability. What crippled him gave him stamina. Paul knew that. He had something that crippled him, a condition he hid under the moniker of “thorn in the flesh.” Prayer did not work to remove the pain. Instead, God told him how to grow strong. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) We find ourselves beaten to the ground only to believe we cannot rise. It is then that God extends his hand to lift. What happened to Nuriyki? You may know him as an Oscar-nominated actor. Most know Nuriyuki Morita, also known as Pat to many as Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid. Weakness shapes the strongest people. Will you let God shape you? -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2021-10-11T19:02:51-05:00October 11th, 2021|Blog|

TMI

Most know the expression “TMI” stands for “too much information.” It usually refers to information that is too sensitive or personal to share. Yet, the “much” needs our focus. Information floods our world. How much information? Today the daily volume of emails, texts, videos, and posts exceeds the number of stars by 40 times. Some estimate that the same number of words ever spoken will happen every quarter-hour within three years. With so much information, why is there so much foolishness and ignorance? Because we share the data created by people rather than finding wisdom in the eternal. Paul walked among philosophers, the learned of his day. He trained as a rabbi with deep knowledge of Jewish tradition. Against this backdrop, Paul knew the limitations of man’s thinking. He told the Corinthians:  “Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20) God provides what we need to live, not only for today but forever. The world’s sharing is nothing more than the pooling of ignorance. We don’t need more information, but we do need more wisdom. Start listening for God’s mind in the world rather than the bytes and bits that make up our days. -Robert G. Taylor-

By |2021-10-04T13:31:56-05:00October 4th, 2021|Blog|
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