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Category Archives: True Wealth

Workin’ it Out!

Something profound, and nothing short of miraculous, happened deep within us when we were born again. It happened in the very deepest part of us, our spirit. When we came into agreement with the plan of God for our salvation, by way of believing in Jesus, and mixing that belief with the faith that He’s already provided for us…..our spirit was renewed. I mean, completely renewed! OK, I’ll make it clearer…..your spirit was perfected! Don’t argue with me….you’ll lose the argument. I’m pretty passionate about this one!

That ‘thing’ that happened is there, in you, to totally transform every area of your life. No kidding! The real you has been ‘renewed’! (made new…and perfect!) And while it’s a lifetime process to flesh it out…your spirit can’t get any more renewed-er (I just made that word up!), than it is right now. So, the challenge becomes……“How do we get what’s happened on the ‘inside’, to manifest itself on the ‘outside’!?

Paul said it this way in the Bible; “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. (Don’t get too uptight about that ‘fear and trembling’ thing; it just means to be serious, sincere…and diligent about it!) Now, he’s not talking about working (doing good things) to ‘earn’ your salvation. That’s far from the truth. Besides, salvation is a ‘gift’; and like any other gift it can only be ‘received’, and not worked for or earned! What’s happened in our spirit is always ‘ready’ to be given permission, by us, to be useful in our everyday lives. It’s simple; don’t complicate it! It amounts to us learning to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit….Who now lives in our spirit to guide us every step of the way.

It could be classified as ‘learned behavior’; we learn from His Spirit how to let the miracle that’s happened inside to be manifest in everything we do. It’s going to require us to change our thinking, some; OK, a lot! But, it’s doable. And, as we change the way we think our behavior, and everything else, begins to change….for the better!

If we’re really being ‘conformed’ into the image of Jesus, then what’s inside has to be ‘worked out’!

Check these out:

God Moves Through ‘Influence’ ……. Not ‘Control’!

“Loosen the Bible Belt a Little!”

Retaliate!!

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“Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes”

“……….nothing remains quite the same….” That’s just part of the words to a song that’s been one of my faves for 30 + years. I don’t know if you like Jimmy Buffett or not….you should! If you don’t, let me know and I’ll pray for you ’cause there’s obviously something ‘fundamentally’ wrong with you! I’ve seen him in concert at least three times down through the years…..and I’ll do it again if I get the chance. I mean, what’s not to like about Jimmy Buffett??!!

But, seriously, it’s a really great song….and it has a pretty profound message to it, as well, if you’re willing to really listen. (you can click ‘here’ to listen to the whole song) It’s about taking a look back over our lives now and then and reflecting on where we’ve been, what we experienced, how we thought about certain things and how those things change over the years and the seasons of our lives. That kind of reflection can be a good thing.

I’ve had cause over the last month to do quite a bit of reflecting, myself. Even though there’s been some tears, I think for the most part it has been healthy. It’s evident to me that the whole Taylor family is transitioning into a new season. It has been a little rough at the get-go, but I predict it’ll be a great season of life for our big ‘ol Family. There’ll be plenty of challenges but as far as I can see the potential outweighs them by a mile.

It all amounts to some ‘changes in latitude and changes in attitude’; and just like Buffett sang, “nothing remains quite the same”. The attitude with which we choose to approach these seasons of life could make all the difference for us. And Jimmy addressed that too; “With all of our running and all of our cunning, If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.” We oughta resolve to laugh a little more!

“Maybe you should take off for a weekend next month and try and recall the whole year.” You’ll find there’s been a lot of faces and places….and some may have even disappeared.

Make your next season a good one! ….and just consider that Jimmy Buffett might have really known what he was talking about when he said, “Yesterday’s over my shoulder, So I can’t look back for too long. There’s just too much to see waiting in front of me, and I know that I just can’t go wrong!”

You might like these, too:

You Can Live in the Past if You Want To…..But There Is a ‘Downside’

Keep Your Eyes On The Road!

You ‘Can’ Get There From Here!

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Simplicity! It’s All I Have to Offer

It has been about 12 or 13 years ago now. I had found myself in the company of several guys who headed up some very effective ministries. Ministries that are operating ‘under the radar’ as I call it. They’re not your typical Charisma Magazine poster boys at all. They’re more of what I’d describe as being kind of like John the Baptist. Some are very controversial figures because of their relevant, but edgy, message on such things as the kingdom of God, grace, the prophetic, signs and wonders, the finished work of Jesus and ministry to the poor. I consider them all to be world changers. A very unique bunch of men, to say the least!

As we got together periodically and grew to be great friends it was easy for me to see how the Father had equipped them for what they were giving their lives to. I could clearly see what they brought to the table. But the more we got together I began to wonder how I got in the picture with these men. And, while I learned a lot from each of them I couldn’t see anything of value that I was bringing to the relationship.

When I questioned the Lord about that I felt like I heard Him right off. “Andy, you bring ‘simplicity’ to the table”. That made a lot of sense to me. He went on to show me that there’s a great need in the whole Body of Christ these days for simplicity. I remember in those days clearly hearing from the Lord, “Andy, I’m about to bring the significance to simplicity that it’s always deserved!

When I think about simplicity, I immediately think about Jesus…and how He did the things He did. He was God in the flesh, He had all wisdom….in Him was all the fulness of the Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) in bodily form….yet His teaching was so simple that even those who didn’t nearly have it all together could understand it. 

That’s my goal….always has been. I’ve been an avid student of the Bible now for over 30 years. I know enough Bible that I could show up on any given Sunday and teach something that only the hardcore Bible hounds could really understand but it doesn’t appeal to me at all. I’m not trying to impress anyone with my Bible knowledge! My goal is, I think, the same as Jesus’……teach it in such a way that no one can miss the Truth!

There’s a lot more to be said about ‘simplicity’. I’ll do it along our way. I’ll leave you with this great quote from Leonardo DaVinci: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”!

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You’re Better at Hearing the Lord Than You Think!

Well, it’ll take some commitment on your part but I totally believe that it’s true. I certainly don’t consider myself an expert on hearing God but I’ve heard Him lots of times (missed him plenty of times as well)….and I’ll bet you have too.

When I started going out speaking at churches in the mid 80’s I didn’t know much (still don’t know much….but you should’ve been around in those days! lol), but I did understand that the Lord speaks and when I’d say something to that effect in a church I noticed that some people (even pastors) often had a funny look on their faces. You know, I didn’t grow up going to church and when I came to the Lord it was for real and I thought it was a ‘given’, that spiritual people heard from the Lord! I actually believed everybody ‘thought’ that way! Turns out it wasn’t as true as I thought it was.

Now, I’ve never heard the audible voice of the Lord but I know plenty of people who say they have and I have absolutely no reason, whatsoever, to disbelieve them. But God is not limited to speaking with an audible voice. He speaks in lots of ways including, ….but not limited to: through the Bible, through our circumstances, through dreams and visions, through prophetic words, through other people, through our kids, through signs and wonders…..and by, what the Bible calls, the ‘still small voice’.

Jesus said, “My sheep know Me….and they hear My voice”. So, if you’re not ‘hearing’ the Lord….chances are the problem is not on His end! I firmly believe we should change our thinking based on the reality that God, the Father, has chosen us to be His own children. Fathers, and He’s the perfect One, always want to communicate with their kids. So, you gotta know that God wants to speak to you! 

Get your antenna up! You’re better at this than you think you are!

You should like these, too:*Click on highlighted link:”     

What’s the  Lord Saying to You? Pt 1

What’s the Lord Saying to You? Pt 2

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This Version of the Taylors’ Est. on This Day 49 Years Ago!

It’s a pretty good sized family. Now, about 18 strong….and getting ready to be 19! This version of the Taylor family was officially established 39 years ago. But 49 years ago today is really when it started, unofficially,….at the Stovall Theater right here in Sayre, Oklahoma. That’s when, at age 13, I met up with the prettiest girl I’d ever seen, to sit by her at the picture show. (that’s what we used to call the movie theater!) I have no idea what the movie was that night but I do remember the girl. Her name was Julie Drake. Our parents had been friends for years but we’d only met less than a year before. There must’ve been something magical about that little date at the movie that night because we did it again…and again, and again. And ten years to the day after that first night at the movie theater we were married. And, now, today it’s been 39 years! It’s almost unbelievable how fast those years have gone by.

So, here we are, now in our 60’s,…after having raised 5 incredible kids (and others that we’ll join up with in heaven shortly) who are in various stages of raising their own families and taking on the world themselves. Add to that 8 of the smartest, best looking grandkids (it’ll be 9 by the end of the month!) that you could possibly imagine. And even the staunchest unbeliever on the planet could not argue that this was undeniably a ‘match made in heaven’….in the truest sense of the word!

I’ve done a lot of dumb stuff in my life but I really outdid myself 49 years ago today when I asked Julie Drake to sit by me at that movie. She’s been the perfect wife, the perfect mother…a truly incredible person by anyone’s standards. People would have to wonder how someone like me could’ve ever ended up with someone like her. It’s more than luck….it’s nothing short of the sovereign will of the Father! We’ve been through all the challenges that couples can go through….and somehow made it to hereIt’s obvious that we were made for each other.

Oh, and by the way…she’s still the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen!

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I’m Just the Messenger

This story is one that I’d never heard my entire life until I was almost 40. I remember vividly the day my Mom told it to me. It touched me in the deepest place possible….I think you’ll understand.

My Mom & Dad had tried to have kids but it had resulted in a couple of miscarriages and the loss of a baby girl that’d be two years older than me. They were living in Canadian, Texas and my Mom was pregnant with me and having major complications. She’d been told by the doctor to stay in bed and not do anything strenuous for the duration of the pregnancy. There was a knock on the door one day and a little lady was there who asked my Mom if she could come in and pray for her. She said yes and the little lady came in the house and prayed for her. After she prayed she said to Mom, “Now, you’re going to have this baby and it’s going to be OK. It’s going to be a little boy….and he’ll be God’s messenger.” The little lady left and Mom never saw her again. She asked a couple of people in town about her and was told that she was just some crazy little ‘religious fanatic’ and to not pay any attention to anything she said, or did.

I first heard this story several years after I’d already said, “Yes” to the Lord but the news of it came at a time when I really needed some encouragement and the confirmation helped me to keep moving on.

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“The Way I See It” #200!

Yesterday was another milestone for me as a writer. My post, Weapons of Mass Construction, was the #200th one! That’s 200 since January 1 of this year. Sure seems like a lot when you look back from here. I’ve learned a lot of things by writing on a regular basis, not the least of which is that writing seems to help me figure me out. There’s something about writing down your thoughts that seems to be good for a soul. I’d recommend it for anyone…and I can tell you that the hardest part is to just get started. It took me a few years to write the first one.

I’ll say again that my main reason for writing is to help. Some of the posts are serious, some are funny but all of them are written from a perspective of a life that the Father has blessed immeasurably! My deepest hope is that something you’ve read has helped you to simplify your relationship with Him, and maybe get a glimpse of the Creator of the Universe Who I think modern religion may have grossly misrepresented. He’s better and more gracious than religion has portrayed Him to be…but you won’t find the full truth of that until you’re connecting relationally with Him. 

I appreciate your taking the time to read the posts. I look at every name that clicks the “Like” button. I especially appreciate your verbal feedback. I think it helps me to get better at what I’m doing. If you think they’re valuable in some way I’d appreciate you ‘passing the word’. Every time you click the “Share” button you make it available to an entire new, broader audience.

If  you’re new to the blog….take some time to go back through the “Archives” and play a little ‘catch up’. Best case scenario, go to the site, click the “Follow” button. You’ll get an email every time I make a post.

The posts that have garnered the most “Views” (nearly 41,000 total!) are not necessary my favorite ones. Below, I have listed my Top-5 Favorite Posts. Give ’em a read and let me know which have been your favorites, or ones that have really ‘spoken’ to you. Thanks a bunch!

You May Not Know This, But I’m  Kind of a Big Deal!

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

You’ve Gotta Quit Calling Yourself a “Sinner”!

Quit Telling Me What The Problem Is!!

All I Know Is, God Loved John Very, Very Much!

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What If I’d Said, No?

I didn’t….so it’s just theoretical. I’m not going to….so don’t get all uptight about it. But occasionally it does go through my mind…..mostly at times when I’m down or discouraged. Yeah, people like me have those times too. Most won’t admit it…fearing it to be a sign of weakness. And, without a doubt, there are those in every group that could start the ‘feeding frenzy’ when a spiritual leader admits he’s actually human, and vulnerable. And, from what I’ve seen by observing other leaders…church people can be some of the most vicious and mean-spirited of them all. Crazy huh?!

It was in 1986 that I heard the call of the Lord on my life. I remember the day well. I was training a horse in the big round pen at the ranch near Allison, Texas. I got off, tied him up and drove the 7 miles to town to talk to my Pastor, Ronnie Chadwick. *(click to read the account) As I remember, it was pretty clear from the Lord. And also, just as clear, was my response to Him that day. It was an easy, “Yes”! I had absolutely no idea what it all meant but I was ‘all-in’, whatever that was.

It was the same when we said “Yes” to the work in Sayre. I’d been asked a dozen times or more to take the little group (6-8) and be their leader. I hadn’t heard a single thing from the Lord that I should do it. But in one critical week the Lord spoke clearly to both Julie and me. We said, “Yes”, and the rest is history, so to speak.

I’m not sure what I’d be doing….or where I’d even be had I said “No”, on those two occasions. For me it’s kind of scary to think about. I doubt I’d be in Sayre, Oklahoma. I’d probably be doing something involving horses and cattle, or ranching. It’s what I knew best…and what I loved doing. On some of the really hard days that life, as hard as it can be too, looks pretty dang good.

But I think about the things that I’d be missing had I said, “No”. I’d have missed at least some of the amazing things the Lord has miraculously done in, through and around us in the last 30+ years. It’s almost embarrassing to admit the times down through the years that ‘quitting’ seemed the thing to do. But I’m not a quitter, never have been…it’s a family trait. I’ve noticed people down through the years who quit, knowing they shouldn’t have,…and it appears that they don’t like themselves much after that. Of course the call of the Lord is one very valid reason for not quitting. But the thing that’s kept me going all these years is my incredible family (best on the planet!)….and this amazing bunch of people at Trinity Fellowship that actually believe in what we’re doing…..and have bet their lives on making a difference!

So, yep…I’m human, and a pretty flawed one at that! But I’m on a pretty decent 30 year run of saying “Yes” to the Lord. My policy has always been to be ‘real’. I’m not of the, ‘fake it ’til you make it’, variety. I’m glad I said, “Yes”. And I still don’t know what it all means! But, I’m all-in for whatever He says!

If you like this one….You’ll like this one, too:

Thank You, Mother Teresa

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“It’s Not Your Job to Fix Them!”

It’s been about 7-8 years ago when some very good ministry friends on the west coast contacted us about helping a young man. They described his dilemma, which was totally off the charts, for me. Our friends asked us to pray about allowing him to come to Sayre for a period of time in an effort to help him overcome his addiction. We’ve done this kind of thing fairly often over the past 20+ years with a pretty impressive track record. I say that with all humility. And I’d admit that even though we had a good measure of success, when the Lord is involved….we have very little to do with the results.

We’re often asked….“What kind of program do you have?” Our answer is always, “We don’t have a program”. Not a thing wrong with programs as long as they’re working but we just don’t have a program. I do believe that what we do is pretty important, though. It’s so simple that most people, especially the professionals, would scoff at it…but it just seems to work. We bring those in that the Lord sends our way. We develop a relationship with them, and we consider them part of our family. They do what we do, they go where we go; they’re involved with us in about everything we do. And it’s just pretty amazing the transformation that happens in nearly all of them.

We picked up the young man from the OKC airport and our hearts were immediately joined to his. He was a very likable, personable young man. He opened up and began to talk to Daryle Perry and myself about his problem. He was more deeply involved in sexual activity (50-60 different partners in the previous month!) than I’d ever even heard of before….and he wanted to be free. As he and Daryle talked it began to go through my mind as to ‘how’ we could help him. I’d been involved in ministry a lot but this, well this was way beyond anything I’d ever been exposed to before. I began to agonize over it and I started to worry that we were way in over our heads on this one. Almost as soon as the worry ‘set in’, I heard the ‘still small voice’ of the Lord say, very clearly to my spirit, “It’s not your job to fix him….It’s your job to love him. I’ll do the fixing”! 

That word from the Lord brought some immediate peace to me. So, that’s just what we did….we loved him. He remained here in Oklahoma with us for 6-8 months. He was a hard worker, everyone loved him (literally no one knew what his problems were or why he was here. We stay true to the idea of confidentiality!). The time came when he believed he was free from his addiction and we felt very good about it as well. We were blessed by his time here and became very good friends with him. After he left we stayed in contact with him and still chat occasionally.

I think it’s a very liberating thing for us to all understand (especially ministry people!) that it’s not our job to ‘fix them’…..but it is our job to love them! It really makes all the difference!

You might like this  one, too:

*Click on highlighted link

Do You Have Enough Faith?

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God Is My Co-Pilot! ……and therein lies the problem!

I started seeing that bumper-sticker when I was a kid, and I still see it every now and then….and it still makes me laugh. Oh, I get what they were trying to say and at a distance it sounds like a totally sensible and wholesome thing to do. I can relate to the whole “Co-Pilot” thing a little bit. In fact there was probably a time in my own life that I thought, Him being my co-pilot would be a very legitimate, and smart thing to do. I mean, if you haven’t had Him along at all….putting Him in the passenger seat would definitely be better than nothing at all. But when you think about it, it really doesn’t make much sense at all. In fact,….and especially if you’re thinking long-term, if He’s your Co-Pilot….it might just explain why things aren’t going so well!

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say…..If you actually created the  Universe…by just ‘speaking it into being’, like He did, then you shouldn’t have to sit in the ‘second seat’ for anybody…..anytime! And seriously….right here’s where the problem exists. We think we can bring the Lord along with us, and into the situations and events in our lives and everything should be OK. But in all actuality….He should be the One piloting ‘this thing’ (your life!). You and I are really not qualified to run our own lives….and if we’re smart we’ve already figured that out. And, why would we?? He is the ‘Author and Finisher’ of our faith; He knows the beginning from the end; He’s the Alpha and Omega. And……..He knows so much more about us…and our lives than we do.

So, all I’m saying is, we need to change seats! Let’s let Him get in the Pilot seat where He belongs and let’s, you and I, just scoot on over and be content to ride ‘shotgun’!

If you liked this….you’ll like this one too!

*click on the highlighted link to read

“Go to God First”

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