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Category Archives: New Life

The Bible Does Not Have All Your Answers!

I bet that got your attention! I know it got the attention of the ones I call the ‘over-religious, self-righteous doctrinal police’. You know, the ones that just can’t resist the opportunity to set you straight about your errors in not seeing every single Biblical truth just exactly like they do. Yeah….those guys! They’d never agree with the blog title….to them it’s blatant blasphemy!

But it’s the truth whether you want to admit it or not. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Bible does have a lot of our answers. And don’t you dare get the idea that I don’t believe the Bible. I do believe it!! Every word of it! I love the Bible more today than at any other time in my life. I love reading it,…I love studying it, I love teaching it, I love listening to great teachers teach it. There’s nothing I don’t love about the Bible. But the Bible was never meant to be a substitute for our ‘relationship’ with the Father! …..and it has become that to countless thousands!

I talk a lot about that relationship and because of it there are those love to criticize saying that I don’t give the Bible the respect that it deserves. I don’t get that! In fact I believe I’m giving it much more respect than they are. In their mind they think they’re defending the integrity of the Scriptures….but in all reality they’re actually fighting against what the Bible is all about to begin with! We live in a ‘religious’ culture that values knowledge over connecting relationally with God. This desperately needs to change! From the Father’s perspective….it has always been about the encounter…..and the ensuing relationship that will naturally follow! In its essence the Bible is written to enhance our relationship with the Father…..not to limit it. It is written with the divine intent of drawing us into relationship with Him! 

And all those answers about our lives that we need to know along the road of life….some of those you will find in the Bible….but not all of them! God has sealed up the details of our lives up in His heart….(and you’re going to love Him for this!), and the only way you can get those details is to go to Him! He’s designed it that way! ….so He can reveal Himself to you in a personal way….and show you how much He loves you!

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; but you’re not willing to come to me that you might have life”.  Jn 5:39

It’s exactly what Jesus was talking about a couple thousand years ago.

It has always been about the encounter!

I bet you’ll like this one too:

I’ve Never ‘Led’ Anyone to the Lord……and I Ain’t Planning on Doing it Anytime Soon!

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“What’s The Father Telling You?” Part 2

If you didn’t read “What’s The Lord Telling You?”Part 1.…you really should read it before reading Part 2. *(click on highlighted link).It has been an interesting journey in learning to ‘walk out’ the things the Father has put in front of us. It’s always challenging, never boring and the amazement of it still mystifies me today. When the Lord said He would be bringing people in here from all over ….He meant it! Most are still here. Some have come and gone (just like He said!), and others are yet to come. My own take on what the Lord is doing in that is that He has brought, and is bringing, them here to catch the DNA of the house (Trinity Fellowship). Then the natural, or should I say spiritual, thing that happens is that they become a positive influence wherever they may go imparting that same DNA in their own realm of influence.

I’ve grown very close to many of the people who have  arrived here as a result of the Father’s plan. They have become like family to me and it’s hard to imagine how it’d be without them in my life. Most of them look to me as their pastor and some would also say that I’m a spiritual father to them. Either is a huge responsibility and one that I’d never take lightly. But their first disappointment with me happened when they would bring their life’s problems or dilemmas to me. And, rather than give them an easy answer, my response would nearly always be, “What’s the Father telling you?”. Some of them would even admit, now, that it made them mad when I would ask that question. 

It’s never been my way of skirting the issue or passing the buck. But looking back on my own life it’s been those things that the Lord has ‘said’ to me that has made the biggest transformation in my life. It’s the things He’s ‘said’ that has caused the church to flourish and be the influence it is. But even more important….when I ask them the question it has caused them to go to the Lord themselves! And rather than me being some kind of spiritual guru for everyone….they’re all learning to hear the Lord for themselves! And to tell you the truth, I’m totally convinced that the Lord likes it this way above every other way imaginable!

Think about it this way; If you have kids, would you want to talk to them about the important things in their life….or would you rather have someone else talk to them for you?!! Well, God is the perfect Father….and He desperately wants to talk to you!!

What’s He telling you?!

PS-Most of those would now say that it’s the very best thing I’ve done for them!

*Maybe some of them will ‘weigh-in’ and let you hear it from their own perspective!

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If He Can Fix My Life…..I Know He Can Fix Yours!

I’ve been blessed in my life to have a lot of good friends. Wasn’t long after my life had ‘made the turn’, so to speak, that a steady stream of my friends started coming to see me. That may not seem like a big deal to you but it really was. For one reason, where I lived at the time wasn’t on the way to anywhere! I mean it was way off the beaten path. So, it was no accident that they were coming to see me. In fact, looking back, it seems pretty obvious to me that the Lord, Himself, was somehow sending them across my path. 

I knew something was very different for me and that for once my life was ‘working’ but I had no idea how to communicate it or put it into words….especially to somebody else. These friends would pour out their hearts to me telling me their problems….all kinds of problems! I had no idea what to tell them….and to be honest some of their problems were pretty intimidating. But I knew one thing…..my life, just a short time before, was pretty messed up! In fact it was so messed up that no one but the Lord could fix it. And even though their problems looked extremely difficult,….and in some cases impossible, I had a profound sense of confidence that they were going to make it. I just knew that if God could fix my life…..He could fix their’s!

Now, more than 30 years later, I still get faced with people’s problems…and just like then, most of the time they look nearly impossible but I still have that same confidence. So, if you’re reading this and you’re in a jam….and maybe, just maybe, it looks as if there’s absolutely no possible solution, run to Him! ‘Cause….I‘m convinced that, “if He can fix my life….He can fix yours”!!

You’ll like this one too!*(click on highlighted link):

There’s Grace For That!

“God, If You’re Out There,  You Gotta Help Me!”WordpressSignature2015b

 

 

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Adios ’15

One of the most obvious things we realize as we get older is how fast the years go by. If you’re young you won’t believe how fast until one of these days you look back. Well 2015 has been another of those ‘fast’ years. Looking back over 12 months I’d say it’s been a good one. Oh, there’s been plenty of ups and downs; lots of challenges; a huge helping of things to laugh about and a few things that brought tears, too. But, all in all, there’s been an infinite number of blessings to be thankful to the Lord for! And I’m sure I finished the year in a better place than I started!

Summing it up, it’s been another year of perspective on life that just proves to me again that I don’t  have much of it figured out. The few things that I do have figured out seem to get clearer and clearer as the years go by. I’m pretty ‘solid’ on the utter importance of these: 1) The love of the Father; IT/HE never fails! His goodness is ‘almost’ unbelievable! We’ll only know the fulness of it as we experience it firsthand! It has to be relational!         2) Family! Julie (prettier than the day I married her nearly 39 years ago!), my incredible kids (5 of ’em), my amazing grandkids (8, and soon to be 9!), my folks (in their ’80’s). I could never go anywhere else….every single thing that’s important to me is here! 3) Friends! So many good ones, it’d be futile to try to count them. A few of them have saved my life, and kept me in the game! 4) The ‘Ever-Growing’ Trinity Family! The most unbelievably unique, diverse and quality bunch of people you’d ever find anywhere! It’s a family that’s now scattered all over the United States, Mexico and Canada! Yep, I’m sure about it….those are the things that are important! I’m extremely grateful!

I started this blog exactly a year ago (after a few years of trying to figure out how to get started!). It’s been an interesting writing trip so far.

Here’s a couple of numbers from a year of “The Way I See It”: I’ve made 210 Posts; The posts have been ‘viewed’ (read) just under 45,000 times!

Thanks for joining me!

I started 2015 with a series, “Reflect & Refocus”. It’d be a good place to start your 2016! *Click on the highlighted link. You can figure out where to go from there!

Reflect & Refocus #1

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What If It’s Not to ‘Break’ You,….but to ‘Make’ You?

It’s been about 7-8 years ago; I was riding my bike on a 15 mile jaunt. I like the bike for several reasons. For one, it doesn’t hurt my joints anywhere, and …..2, I like it because I can ride and, at the same time, do some serious thinking, praying, pondering, etc. On this particular day my mind was pretty much preoccupied with the dilemma that two people very close to me were having to go through.

As I prayed for both of them, intensely, the Lord reminded me of at least half a dozen people I’d been involved with over the years that were pitted up against, what at the time appeared to be, insurmountable circumstances. In each of those half dozen or so instances the Lord showed me how He came through for them when it didn’t look like there was any way possible. He also reminded me of how those circumstances somehow ‘catapulted’ them into His perfect will for their lives. In each of those instances the outcome was nothing short of miraculous.

As the Lord encouraged me with those examples I heard His ‘still, small voice’ say to my spirit, “Andy, this is not to ‘break’ them….it’s to ‘make’ them!” I knew at once that this was the voice of the Lord. He always knows just the right thing to say….at just the right time! *And just for the record…not once did I think that the Lord somehow arranged these people’s harsh circumstances so He could teach them a lesson! It’s sad to say but there’s plenty of people out there who think that God does just that. NO WAY!! That totally goes against the nature of a father….and He’s a better Father than any of us could be! 

What the Lord said to me totally, and immediately, put their problems into perfect perspective! ….which brings the conversation to you and me. What if these trials we go through in life are not meant to ‘break’ us….but to ‘make’ us?! The Bible often eludes to the fact that we’re being purified like gold. That all sounds great until you consider how gold is mined and then purified so it can actually be used or sold.

Most of the time that ‘rock’, that’s brought out of the mine, looks absolutely nothing like gold. I mean, you can’t see any gold in it at all. It’s only when that rock is ‘heated’ up to insanely, intense temperatures that the gold begins to emerge. When the heat causes the ore to melt….the impurities come to the surface. The ‘dross’ is scraped off the top and discarded….and the heating process starts again. Sound familiar?!! Well, it’s the exact process that the Father allows us to go through in our ‘being conformed into the image of Jesus’!

As we go through these unpleasant circumstances in life it’d serve us well if we’d consider that maybe, just maybe…..“they’re not to break us…..but to make us”!!

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Room at the Inn?

You know the story; Joseph and Mary arrived at the motel late on that fateful night….only to be informed of the “No Vacancy” status. Not one single room available so they had to search elsewhere. The only thing they could find was a barn,…..equipped with animals,….. so they settled in.

Sometime during that night Mary gave birth to her Baby, precisely as the prophets of old had declared. The Angels showed themselves to the shepherds who were working out in the fields at night. And ‘wise men’ came from far away to witness what was happening there. Without a doubt this was an event that the world would forever commemorate, ….and rightly so!

In this busy time with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, some goofy controversy over Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas, our culture has made it all about shopping, money and commerce. But for the wise ones among us, it’s still about Jesus! And the reality that He was born…..and died….and rose again after He finished the work set before Him….is a guarantee that sin would never again hold us hostage, and that our relationship with His Father (now our Father, too!) cannot, would not ever be revoked! 

On this Christmas Eve we oughta slow down for a minute and just say, “Thanks”. My prayer for you/us is that it’ll be a ‘special’ time for you and your family. And let’s not forget to make some ‘room’ for Him!

Merry Christmas from the Taylors’!! *(kinda like the Griswolds’, only scarier…and more of ’em!)

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Mad at God?? ….happens all the time!

I hear it pretty often from people. Because of how their life is going, or because of something that they’re convinced that God mishandled on their behalf….people do find themselves mad at Him….sometimes very mad. And I’ve seen a few, what I’d call, extreme cases where the anger lasted a lifetime. It seems sad to me but at the same time I can kind of understand how someone could end up there.

I’ve never been mad at Him. Doesn’t make me any more mature, or any more spiritual, than anyone else….I just haven’t been mad at Him. Somehow, some way I’ve known, as long as I can remember, that God is good. Remember now, that’s coming from someone who didn’t grow up in church and didn’t have a whole lot of orientation about God at all. I’ve thought about it quite a bit and I guess it boils down to a couple of things for me. 1) It was imparted to me from my Mom & Dad. I’m certain that this is true, although I can’t tell you when, where or how….it just happened….and I’m eternally grateful to them for it. 2) It’s just, simply, a revelation from the Father Himself. Personally….I think it’s a good combination of both.

I’ve had a great life, but with just as many ups and downs as the next guy. And I guess if I’m being honest, here, I’d have to say that a lot of the downs were, either directly or indirectly, self-inflicted. But not everyone’s hardships are self-inflicted such as the loss of a child or a parent. And these things can leave us wondering if God has let us down.

Well, He didn’t let you down….no matter how convinced you are of that. It’s totally against His nature as a Father to do that. I remember vividly nearly 22 years ago when our family lost a little boy. It was devastating to put it mildly. But right in the middle of our grief He spoke clearly to my spirit, “Andy, if you could see the big picture, you’d know everything is OK.” It immediately brought peace. He always knows just the right thing to say at just the right time.

I had a friend tell me recently that upon the loss of his dad that he immediately blamed God and turned his back on Him for 4 or 5 years…only to find out after that time that God didn’t give up on him…He just loved him more. 

Maybe you’re reading and you have something that you’ve been mad at Him about. (it could be consciously or subconsciously) I can tell you that God can take you being mad at Him a lot longer than you can take it. He’d love to give you His perspective on your indictment against Him….but you’ll have to be open for it.

If you’ll run to Him,….He’ll help!

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