REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP
THE SERIES - BOOK ELEVEN
AUTHOR - BILL TAYLOR
COPYRIGHT 2017 - BILL TAYLOR
PUBLISHED BY BILL TAYLOR AT
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*Special thanks to Shila and
Pragna for their encouragement and inspiration*
The Invisible Guest
12 - 12: “For the Holy Spirit will
teach you at that time what you should say”.
and my long-time friend and sister Pragna, like to chat. Well to be
honest the word chat doesn't accurately describe our Saturday phone
conversations from England.
of between six and seven hours really can't be called “chats”.
We have mentioned on occasion that our initial intent isn't a
“Guinness World Book Of Records” qualifier, but the end result
always is and without complaint!
passes effortlessly as if not existing as we immerse ourselves
in talk about our great and glorious
God. It would seem we have proven this
scripture to be fact: “Where two or three are gathered together in
the name of Jesus, there He will be in their midst”.
the Holy Spirits invited by us inclusion, that transforms idle
conversations into wonderful times of ministry as spirit speaks
to spirit on a three-way basis. I am blessed to have a person
who equally enjoys communicating, with our mutual Shepherd at
the center of the commune.
Holy Spirits involvement in our “everything” is the very essence
that changes life itself from “mundane religious boredom” into
“spiritually florescent reality”.
never about where we are but rather, Who is
with us that makes all the difference as we
journey with Him as guide and orchestrator of our footsteps.
With His one touch, the
seemingly small and meaningless can become the big
life with the Holy Spirit is exciting beyond measure! We
must never think we are anywhere, with anyone, at any time,
doing anything, by accident or coincidence. God has a
well-designed plan for our every step as I would once again confirm
the drug store I frequent in the area, I officially met a beautiful
young lady named Mary. I had on two occasions, the privilege of
saying ''good morning'' to her but nothing much more than that.
Well today was very different. She sought me out with a boisterous;
“I’m so glad you are here today”, as she proceeded to
share her news.
was her last day on the job as Mary’s co-op had ended. She
explained that she would be desperately looking for a new summer
job, with this as the reason: “I have a condition that I'm not able
to stay at home during the day”.
condition? What could that mean I wondered, so I asked. “My parents
are abusive to the extreme and I simply can't stand being around
them”. And the tears flowed!
for a moment: I'm pretty well a perfect stranger. Mary barely knew
me! Why was she so comfortable in sharing the private
“goings on” in her home with me? May I strongly suggest, the
no other reason why she would think I'd care less unless He
helped her think it. We talked for about twenty minutes during which
I told her, that as much as her parents gave her birth, they
were not her Creator.
then proceeded to reveal God's viewpoint regarding her worth and
asked Mary to embrace it with both hands and never let go,
accepting it as the final authoritative word concerning her
thanked me and requested that we stay in touch. I left her my email
address. We will chat again!
Holy Spirit while being invisible, is the most tangibly
powerful dynamic in our lives. He's always desiring to speak
into the hearts of others through us.
makes us privileged and trusted participants in Heaven's plan!
As previously mentioned: That's exciting beyond exciting!
answers to our spiritual dilemmas
are not found by repeating parroted biblical
clichéd mantras over and over again in the midst of our
real life issues.
doubt, we can achieve temporal relief from that practice, but in
the end like all positive thinking medications it will wear off
leading us back to where we started.
offers something with a far greater permanency factor; Resurrection
we can know and say all the right things while
simultaneously acting on none of them. We can sit in our boats
“assuming” the ability to walk on water while never actually
having done it. Therefore, we can become intellectual water
walkers with dry feet.
can become complacent with simply knowing it. If we were tested
based on what we know we'd pass with flying colors.
query in need of answering is; do our lives verify what we
know? Our clichés while encompassing the truth can
easily become no more than spiritual pacifiers, rather than life
does the empowering truth of God's word, empower
us in our daily lives? When does it transform us out of our “back
seat” timidity status to “front seat” resurrection
boldness? When do we stop being dictated to and start dictating to?
do we join heaven's chorus and shout with absolute assurance; If
God is for us, who can be against us in
victorious jubilation with a sincere emphaticness
that dispels all things that don't align themselves
with that truth?
answer: When God's promises and truths move south
from our minds and memorization skills, to that sacred place of
residence, our hearts. Faith resides in hearts not minds. Our
individual walks with God are meant to be experiential to the
extreme, radiating reality with each and every step we take.
the mind busily occupies itself reasoning, diluting and debating
faith as to its practical relevance, it's the heart that turns God
provided faith into perspective changing fact.
do we “repeat” truth over and over again or do we “act on”
truth over and over again?
leads to a life of cliché-ism while the second explodes into a
life of real-ism, where God's sovereign reality is at the center of
all conclusions. God's limitlessness is not discovered as a
tangible reality by simply knowing but rather experiencing
what we know.
they came to the tomb of Jesus, they found the stone had been rolled
away by an angel.
stone wasn't displaced to let Jesus out but rather to allow us
access to experience and see first-hand what God had done
as confirmed by the angel as he said in Matthew
28 - 6: “He is not here, He has risen, just as
He said. Come and see ( experiential ) the place where He
You Brother Lawrence
just finished reading and re-reading a more than three hundred year
old Christian classic entitled; “The Practise Of The Presence Of
God”, written by the closest friend and spiritual confidant of
a man identified as Brother Lawrence, after his passing..
autobiographically, it is composed by a closely intimate
observer, in its portrayal of Lawrence's
life. It chronicles his all-consuming adoration,
passion and love for God and God's presence. One in the
same, I'm thinking.
how he valued and cherished God's presence above all. Almost
painfully so as the pages would progressively reveal. Pain with
an expectancy I suspect. Like a woman giving birth.
you ever read something that so clearly describes everything
your heart wants to be, but isn't?
leaves you desirous and breathless simultaneously! Envious while
being deflated within your own humbling awareness of lack. A strange
two-some to navigate around no doubt.
“navigating around it” isn't the point, but rather “hungering
for it” is God's desired direction for my response!
not a long book with its less than one hundred pages in
total. But my goodness it's a vision changer.
Its considered “classic” status is by no means an
over-statement. So, what do I do with this offering of
insightfully profound literature? One based on a man’s experience
rather than a man’s theory. Thus valuable.
I place it back on the shelf to collect dust along with my now well
established appreciation for Brother Lawrence as a follower of
Jesus? Is that what I do?
do I pile it on top of the other books that proclaim through other’s
personal testimonies, the value of complete surrender to Jesus, and
then carry on with my “as is” intact and undisturbed.
that what I do? Or perhaps do I do this?
into the eyes of my beautiful Shepherd and with all the sincerity I
can muster, declare to
is “no part” of me worthy of retaining, if the cost is “any
part” of you Jesus”.
again: Thank you Brother Lawrence for your to be applauded example
and thanks be to God it was documented.
quote from the writer describing his friend
Lawrence's mode of existence; He learned to cultivate the deep
presence of God so thoroughly in his own heart
that he was able to joyfully exclaim, “I
am doing now what I will be doing for all eternity. I am blessing
God, praising Him, adoring Him, and loving Him with all my heart”.
quote from Lawrence; “Everything should
be an expression of my love for God no matter how menial the
serious and seriously impressive!
aware the “state of being” described in our text won't
simply fall on me as if it were an entitlement for simply
showing up to some religious party.
nothing scripturally or historically speaking that even infers,
casual and complacent will get me to my desired destination of total
immersion in my Lord's presence.
longing is to “dwell” not “visit”. I'm convinced there's
a voluntary hungering and thirsting involved on my part to complete
this spiritual transaction.
reality doesn't intimidate nor discourage me, but rather inspires and
enlightens my heart as to the supreme value of intimacy
with Jesus, He
best described as “the object of my affection”.
to know Christ and
the power of His resurrection”, not as a memorized scripture verse
but an everyday reality!
real or nothing at all are my two choices of preference. Hot or
cold but God forbid, not luke-warm.
having the “want
the door, enabling God to accomplish in me what I so desire; A
removal of self! I pray to that end.
from an old worship chorus derived from Jeremiah
29 - 13 come
to mind as extremely applicable and seriously instructional.
shall seek Me and you shall find Me when you
with all your heart”.
would seem, “all my heart” is the price for such riches. That
truth motivates and propels my desire forward as I embrace the
scripturally included promise from God; “You
Shall Find Me”.
been said and correctly so: “The road less travelled isn't a
crowded path to sojourn while on planet earth”. That being true,
there must be room for one more sheep!
The Inheritance Of
things temporal have no ability to create lasting joy with their
already built in worldly expiry dates attached. It's not
their fault for failure, it's ours for expecting them to provide that
which they can't then becoming frustrated when they don't.
above the things of this world Jesus stands at the ready to impart
“joy unspeakable and full of glory”. Joy everlasting, in
that its Provider is incorruptible and unchangingly eternal. No
shelf life or expiry date from heaven is included. Its
source is perfect therefore its quality is likewise.
the “new whatever” with its momentary euphoria soon becomes old
as does the euphoric emotion that once belonged to the acquisition.
joy that our Lord provides “detaches” our
emotional dependence on this world and “attaches” us
to heaven’s provision. Therefore it is not contingent
on circumstances but rather transcends circumstances.
and John considered it “joy” to be flogged for the name
and sake of Jesus! Either they were masochistically insane
or were living in a joy that was so transcendent that
it could not be shaken. A joy that had nothing to do with
I'm thinking: True joy isn't an “emotion” but rather an
imparted by God characteristic of Jesus! The joy of the
Lord is our strength!
the world didn't give it to us, it equally can't take it away.
Thus, safe and secure from theft and deterioration.
our “cross purchased” inheritance. One
we have every right to and one that heaven directs and
encourages us to immerse ourselves in.
I Hate Mondays -
was quite a while ago when I met my young gentleman friend. I can't
remember how long but I definitely remember “it was a Monday”.
should preface my commentary by mentioning that I talk to everything
that breathes. They all deserve to have their existences acknowledged
as important, so I do.
a long-time but now retired courier, I discovered elevators
to be the most anointed places of conversational ministry.
type audiences realize there is no way out, therefore my fellow
travellers momentary captivity always worked nicely to mine and
was only twenty two years of age. As the elevator door closed I
greeted him with a, “Good morning, how are you today”.
soon to be friend responded with: “Terrible, I hate Mondays”.
''All Mondays or just this one'', I queried. ''Yup, every single one
of them, he repeated, ''I've always hated Mondays'! “I
can fix that”, I offered.
the “chat” was officially on! “Do you realize that's one
seventh of your life you have already evaluated as hated. Are you
sure you can afford that luxury”, I commented? His response? “It's
always been and always will be that way”.
descriptive “always” sounded a little dramatic for having lived
only twenty two years but out of concern I repeated: “I can
fix that if you wish”.
your best shot” he consented, with a challenging tone of doubt
regarding my confident claim.
follow me'”, I said as I directed him to his needed final
conclusion. “If today is Monday then yesterday was Sunday.
Yesterday in the city of Toronto hundreds of people in hospitals
and elsewhere were praying for one more day and didn't get it. You
fortunately did and you are complaining about it. Does that make
sense to you at all”?
took my friend a few moments to speak these life changing words,
but he did eventually get them out. “NO, and thank you. I'll
never forget what you just said. That was powerful”!
perspective is powerful when it’s emphatically truthful!
1Thessalonians 5 - 18: “Give
thanks in all circumstances ( even on Mondays ) for this is God's
will for you in Christ Jesus”.
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ROSE AND THE THORN
HEARTS - NO LIMITS
ROAD LESS TRAVELED
IN CHINA SHOPS
IS A JOURNEY
HEART IS SACRED
- IT’S A NEW DAY!
FRIEND - MY PEACE - MY LORD
DECIDE - CHOICES
REAR VIEW MIRROR
LOVE MADE PERFECT
GRACE - AMAZING SAVIOR
ME HOLY SPIRIT
- GOD IS NOT INTIMIDATED