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When God Hides the Truth

The Bible is a magnificent document! Sixty-six books, written by 44 authors over a period of about fifteen hundred years. The thirty-nine books of the Old Testament were composed between 1400 and 400 B.C., the twenty-seven books of the New Testament between A.D. 50 and A.D. 100. (Read more facts about the Bible) It is an amazing history book and it contains some vital information of how God, the Creator of the entire Universe, deals with His people. The Bible is written and compiled in such a way as to draw the reader into an actual personal encounter with God, Himself. If we miss that…..we could be missing why we have It in the first place.

I became a student of the Bible over thirty  years ago. I had never read it much in my whole life but when I started I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s interesting how the Lord grew me and taught me as I read. I had a profound experience with the Lord; I knew my life was changing. Looking back it’s pretty obvious to me that it was the hand of the Lord. Living out in the middle of nowhere a steady stream of my friends began to just ‘happen’ to stop by. You have to understand….our place wasn’t on the way to anywhere! These friends would come see me and somewhere in our conversation they’d begin to talk to me about their problems. They would nearly always ask me questions about their issues but I hardly every had the answers. All I knew was that if God could fix my life….I knew He could fix theirs’. 

Their questions ranged from everything from marriage problems to, “How does a person get to heaven”. Well, I didn’t know. But I did have a Bible. (Actually it was Julie’s. She had bought a New King James Version and I just kinda confiscated it and started consuming it!) Since I couldn’t answer my friends questions I’d go home at night and look and look until I found an answer. I thought, “If I ever get asked that question again I’ll have the answer.” Funny thing is…I don’t think I ever got asked the second time. Looking back it was the Lord’s way of training me in His Word. It worked!

One fascinating thing I have learned about the Bible is that there are, what I’d call, ‘hidden truths’ just under the surface of what we routinely read. For someone who really wants to become a student of the Bible it pays to look for those truths. It’s important to understand that the Father doesn’t hide those truths ‘from’ us…..but ‘for’ us!

I was observing my two newest little grandkids today, Knox and Timber; sharp, beautiful, curious little kids,…both just a little over a year old. In a few weeks they will be experiencing their first opportunity to hunt for Easter eggs. When the adults hide those eggs it’d be really easy to hide them from the little ones where they’d never ever find them. But that’s not how we do it! Nope, we hide them where they can’t help but find them. We’re not hiding the eggs ‘from’ them….we’re hiding the eggs ‘FOR’ them!

Why don’t you make yourself a student of the Word of God? There are some profound truths hidden just under the surface. He really wants you to find them!

The Father hasn’t hidden them from you….He’s hidden them FOR you!  

Check out the audio version:

**Hey….a little poll. Need some feedback. Have you tried the ‘audio’ version?? If so, do you prefer them or not?? Please let me know. Thanks!

Try these:

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

Making the Best of a Bad Situation

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Definitely Our Most Memorable New Year’s Day!

It was exactly 38 years ago today. That, I remember vividly. It was brutally cold, about 15 degrees with the wind blowing about 40 mph! ….typical Texas Panhandle winter night! Julie and I had gone into Canadian, Texas to meet two other couples for supper. The Stuckey’s, Don & Billie, and the Dickinson’s, Bud & Brenda have been great friends of ours for a lifetime (actually more like Family!). The plan was to go to the steak house for supper and then back to the Stuckey’s to hang out, play a few cards, drink a few beers….at least for the guys. Julie and I were expecting our first baby and she was already about two weeks past the due date.

We brought in the New Year and headed home. It was about 40 miles to our house. The we got home another of my good friends, Kenny Bass was there waiting for us. Julie went off to bed and ‘Catfish’ (his nickname) and I decided we’d have another drink or two. Before we even got the first one poured Julie called to me from the bedroom. When I went in there she was as serious as I’d ever seen her! She calmly said, “I think my water broke”! I don’t know if you can grasp the panic that I experienced at that moment. Julie, on the other hand, remained pretty calm. But here we were, 60 miles from the hospital, our car with less than a quarter tank of gas in it…and she’s having contractions only a few minutes apart. 

We were in the car in less than 3 minutes. And, since we didn’t have enough gas to make it to the hospital we stopped at the ranch headquarters, where my folks lived, to fill the car up. Thinking we didn’t have a minute to spare, I had visions of her trying to give birth in the car on the way. We made the 60 mile trip in about 35-40 minutes…and to be honest, Julie’s brown Gran Torino was never really the same after that!

Not sure exactly the time we arrived at the hospital in Elk City, Oklahoma but I distinctly remember Julie having regular contractions just a few minutes apart….and Clint Ryan wasn’t born until 1:35 pm the next day….New Year’s Day. It was a lot of hours of ‘hard labor’!! And, hey, Clint was the first baby born there in the New Year so we were given lots of gifts and certificates for gifts.

It was an experience we’ll never forget. Our lives were changed for the better that day, and made richer than we could’ve ever imagined. It was definitely our most memorable New Year’s Day!

Happy New Year from the Taylors’!!

*If you’re interested in visiting the ‘Archives’ and getting 2016 off to a good start, click the highlighted link and get started! Thanks for joining me on the journey!

Reflect & Refocus #2

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Gun Fightin’, Pool Shootin’…and Bull Ridin’! …….and I Guess, Now, High School Football!

I’ve been making my list for years now and I thought I pretty much had it down. But I had to add another element to it a few days ago. You may wonder what that list above is all about. Well, that’s my list of things that, if you’re going to do any of them, …….you better not get cocky about it!

I’ve seen quite a few fights down through the years and there were several who had the reputation that they couldn’t be whipped. I’ve seen some of them go down….and it wasn’t pretty! *(how about that Ronda Rousey?!) And pool shooters…same story….someone who could just ‘run through’ everyone meets up with the right guy and gets humiliated. I’ve seen that a time or two. Granted, I’ve never really seen a gunfight in person (not hoping too, either!!) but I have seen plenty of them in the movies….and a few real ones on TV news shows. Now bull riding, I’ve seen it happen more times than I could count. Some guy with plenty of talent and a mouth to match gettin’ just a little too big for his britches. In all these cases, you better watch out if you’re gonna do ’em, ’cause the next one might just be the one that’ll get ‘ya!

Well, I had to add to my list last week. I added High School Football. Had to,…and here’s why: I’ve been a faithful follower of the Canadian, Texas Wildcats for a good long while now. I’ve been to nearly all their playoff games for the past 6-7 years. They’re just a fun team to watch.

The suspense had been brewing for over a year now because of some very public ‘trash talking’ on social media (FaceBook, Twitter, HS Football Forums) by downstate football power, Refugio. In fact, they made plenty of remarks around this time last year when Canadian won the State 2-A title. Refugio had lost to Mason, who in turn lost to a great Canadian team. But Refugio fans and players continued the ‘talk’ saying that it would’ve been a totally different outcome had they played Canadian instead of Mason. More recently, one of the key players (I’m withholding names on purpose) for Refugio had plenty to say about a ‘certain’ All-State selection from Canadian.

So, when the two teams squared off in NRG Stadium in Houston last week for the State 2-A Championship there was an added element of competition on the table. Refugio won the stat tally the first quarter and looked strong, athletic and determined to take the State Champ trophy home. But early in the 2nd quarter Canadian found their rhythm and it was to the ‘woodshed’ for Refugio! They dominated Refugio like they’ve dominated 30 other teams over the past two seasons. Final score: Canadian 61, Refugio 20! It’s just my opinion but I believe they could’ve easily scored 80 had they left the starters in the game.

The lack of character of the Refugio team really showed up in the second half. The trash talking continued throughout the entire duration of the game. I don’t want to be too critical here,….’cause I’d hate to be judged on my conduct at 17 or 18 but, personally, I’d write it off as a coaching issue.

The Canadian team maintained their composure and handled themselves with a great display of character in the midst of it all. They’re to be commended! They’re a classy bunch! I expect they’ll be some great contributors to society with their lives.

So, if you’re gonna fight (with fists or guns), shoot pool, ride bulls or play High School Football….you best watch your mouth….’cause the next one……well the next one might just be the one to get ‘ya!

*You’ll appreciate this video clip (click highlighted link). Keep in mind that this took place when the score was 41-13! It appears the Canadian player just said, “Look at the scoreboard!”

Check these out:

Canadian Wildcat Update

All-Time Favorite Sports Franchise – Canadian, Texas Wildcats

Character Matters!

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Prayer Changes Things!

It was the message on a little plaster of paris wall hanging at my Grandmother’s house in Wheeler, Texas. (My Mom’s Mom) I never knew my Granddad, he was killed in a motorcycle accident earlier in the year that I was born. That left her to raise 3 kids who were still at home. (2 older ones already married) She was an incredible person, in my opinion, and I’ve grown to appreciate that more and more as I’ve gotten older and understanding more of what it takes to raise a family.

One of my favorite things to do was to stay overnight, or a few days, at her house. I still vividly remember bedtime at her house. There were two beds in her room…one for her and one for Herman, my uncle, her youngest son. (only 3 years older than me) There’d be a story or two before we all fell asleep and they were always good ones. *(Herman always tried to tell a scary one..so we’d sleep with a butcher knife under our pillow for safety! lol) One story she told me when I was 3 or 4 years old was of an ‘old, old Grandmother by the name of ‘Mamaw Teak’. Well, that name ‘stuck’ and I called her that for the rest of my life.

When you’re a single mother with 3 kids in a small town you just have to do what you have to do to make ends meet. I remember her working at cafes and cleaning houses for people and then coming home completely worn out…but then cooking one of the best meals that you could possibly imagine. One of my most memorable Christmases was when Herman, my brother Monty and I all got our “Rifleman” rifles. We maintained a high level of justice on that block and kept the bad guys at bay in Wheeler, Texas for a good long while!

I think, somehow, the importance of prayer was imparted to me back in those days. That’s one of the things we’d do every night that I was at her house. And looking back and assessing her situation….I think she lived by it! They lived a simple life, a good life….but a simple life. And they got by,…I believe, by the provision of the Lord.

There’s a lot more to say on the subject of prayer. But simply put, “Prayer Changes Things”! 

*When my Grandmother passed on, I asked for this little plaster of paris wall hanging. It means a lot to me!

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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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“100”

I was actually kind of surprised to realize that I had made it up to 100 Blog Posts since January 1! That happened fast! I guess it’s a ‘milestone’.  Writing has been something I’ve enjoyed for quite awhile now. I started writing years back when my friend Derek Manning, who owned a newspaper in nearby Elk City, Oklahoma, asked me to write a weekly article for his paper. Although Derek has since sold the newspaper I’ve written over 600 articles! A few years back Melanie Cole, owner of the Cheyenne Star Newspaper, started to put the articles in her paper. I’m grateful for both her and Derek because it has helped me to develop a talent that was pretty much untapped. I was a little intimidated at first but once I got ‘untracked’ I found that I really enjoyed it. I look now at the things I wrote 7 or 8 years ago and I do think that I’m getting better at putting my thoughts down. It has been very therapeutic for me, too. Writing, for me has really helped me get in touch with my emotions. There’s just something about writing from the heart that’s good for a soul!

I try my best to keep the posts from getting long….but there are some stories that you just can’t tell in 300 words. (that’s my target #)  So, I try to keep ’em fairly brief. I’m getting better at condensing! My Blog, “The Way I See It”, has been good for me but my primary reason for writing in the first place is to help others. I’ve learned a lot in 61 years, and still have a lot more to learn, and I enjoy passing along some of those things to people who are interested.

I love feedback so anytime you read something that really ‘speaks’ to you….let me know about it. *Best case scenario.…go to andyrtaylor.com and click the “Follow” link. You’ll get an email every time I make a post. Please feel free to “Share” them with your contacts, too!

Here’s the numbers after 100 posts (in terms of ‘views’):          

          Views: 20,970  *(seems pretty amazing to me!)          

          Visitors: 10,650  *(equally amazed!) For the full stats, click here

**If you do go there…under “Posts & Pages” you can see the Top-10 Blog Posts (# of Views)

Which Blog has been your ‘favorite’……and why??

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